After being defeated by Angelique Kerber in three sets on Friday, Stephen’s shared on her Instagram story that she received so many vile messages that it affected her mental health. Some of the messages were extremely racist and threatened her with physical and even sexual harm.
“I am human, after last night's match I got 2K + messages of abuse/anger from people upset by yesterday's result, “she wrote. “It's so hard to read messages like these, but I'll post a few so you guys can see what it's like after a loss..."
"This type of hate is so exhausting and never ending," Stephens' post continued. "This isn't talked about enough, but it really freaking sucks,” she continued.
As reported by CNN, a company spokesperson from Facebook, which owns Instagram, said that the racist attacks directed at Stephens go against the guidelines for the app and the company will work to remove the comments and accounts that spread hate.
"The racist abuse directed at Sloane Stephens after the US Open is abhorrent," the statement read. “No one should have to experience racist abuse anywhere, and sending it on Instagram is against our rules.”
"In addition to our work to remove comments and accounts that repeatedly break our rules, there are safety features available, including Comment Filters and Message Controls, which can mean no one has to see this type of abuse,” the statement continued.
Although she acknowledged the pain that the hurtful messages caused, Stephens said she decided that she will only give her energy to what affirms her moving forward.
"This isn't talked about enough, but it really freaking sucks,” she said. “I'm happy to have people in my corner who support me. I'm choosing positive vibes over negative ones."
Also, she thanked her fans for their love and support that has inspired her to keep going despite all the negativity that she faced since Friday's match.
“Thank you so much for all your love and support,” she wrote. “Your messages are so kind and thoughtful. I’m grateful for my family, friends, and fans. I feel so loved, encouraged, and uplifted.”