‘I’m going to have nine million death threats’: Shelby Rogers braces for social media abuse after US Open loss

Rogers, the 25-year-old who was outgained by Rafa Nadal by a staggering 8-1 in the deciding set, will be subjected to vitriol for her loss on Sunday

‘I’m going to have nine million death threats’: Shelby Rogers braces for social media abuse after US Open loss

Stephanie Filo, a senior marketing analyst at the investment bank Credit Suisse, won the $100,000 prize for the fastest tennis racquet swing and Ryann O’Sullivan got to take his drumming gloves into the home dressing room at Flushing Meadows.

US Open 2017: Stephens triumphs but Stephens sisters crash out Read more

Those were the main prizes on Tuesday at the Flushing Meadows tennis event. It was quite a difference from what had gone before when Luis “Baby Banderas” Gustavo made history by beating a Mark Philippoussis serve with a golf club.

Weirdly enough, it was actually Ferrer who had to deal with Twitter, which was ablaze with support for Rio’s bronze medal gymnast Simone Biles. Though she beat her arch rival Gabby Douglas, she never even got the opportunity to hear what those thousands were talking about: Douglas made sure her compatriot Nicola Adams was a worthy winner of the women’s boxing gold.

In other tennis news, the US Open champion Serena Williams dropped a set before putting the US$100,000 winner’s cheque back in her account and reaching a semi-final against Venus Williams. The pair may now be the only household names left in the women’s draw.

Whether the US men could use a little more star power remains to be seen. None of the men could make a dent in the Australian Open champion Roger Federer, who rested after reaching the final there. It’s been a dismal run of tennis for American men at the Open in New York: Sam Querrey last won a title on 9 January, four months after Serena’s engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian was announced.

This is my United States Open championship slipstream: anyone go, Serena? But I do have some sort of fantasy in my head (shakes head) that I want to do it for Steffi Graf. I did it for Steffi Graf. I still want to do it for Steffi Graf.

Does anyone else have one? Do you have one? Are you having a Serena-a-thon? The idea of cheering for Serena in New York isn’t fun. It’s uncomfortable.

No question about it: the balance sheet of the fortnight reads “third round” for American men. This means “not only did they get beaten in the third round, they get beat again in the first round and in the third round”.

Unsurprisingly, the top-five ranking for the top-two women is becoming a moot point. No less than five players have passed the milestone by reaching the semi-finals of a Grand Slam this year.

The first was Kerber who won the Australian Open. The fourth? Angelique Kerber. The next (despite Wimbledon not even having started yet) was Elina Svitolina, who won the Madrid title and the Italian Open. Osaka, the fourth seed here, has won three titles. That means two players more than one behind Kerber (Svitolina with a four and Kerber with a five).

But while all four women have clearly made their mark this year, these tournaments don’t count for rankings or money and that’s the fact that is really chilling to think about as America suffers through a pretty brutal summer. The two defending Grand Slam champions (Serena and Kerber) won in the early rounds, while Venus Williams beat Jelena Ostapenko. Venus lost the final.

But Serena reached the US Open final as did Garbine Muguruza. This was a predictably preposterous year of Grand Slam surprises: unseeded players beating seeded players, unseeded players beating favourites and always watching out for each other.

After the US Open is back in action, top seeds from outside the top 10 don’t even make the tour. Four of the top 10 players reached the semi-finals of the French Open, where Garbine Muguruza won. Murray, who is about as close to untouchable as it gets at the top level of men’s tennis, will lose his next match. And, who knows, perhaps Serena’s loss could actually give the US men’s game a bit of a kick up the ass.

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