Sloane Stephens beats Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova After Choice Words
Russian Player Goes Unpunished In ‘Sportsmanship’ Double Standard That Probably Would Have Gotten Serena Fined
The chair umpire was silence was deafening.
In a video making the rounds on social media, Sloane Stephens called out her opponent, Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, for apparently committing multiple violations of tennis decorum during their heated first-round China Open match on Sunday in Beijing.
The instance that caught everyone’s attention happened in the third set, when it appeared that Pavlyuchenkova tried to hit Stephens with an overhead smash near the net. In tennis, “A player who hits the opponent while legitimately trying to return a ball to the opponent should not be penalized,” according to the U.S. Tennis Association guidelines for “officiating scenarios and interpretations.” But to the naked eye, Pavlyuchenkova’s intent was clear.
“That f*king b*tch tried to hit me,” Stephens could be seen saying to herself as she returned to the baseline.