June 13, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

After batting Shelby Rogers in Charleston, Madison Keys battles trolls

It’s tough enough when you’re the top seed at a Premier-level event for the first time, and you go down swinging in your first match.

But when the inevitable Twitter trolls appear on your timeline, many of them disgruntled bettors who lost money on you, it certainly doesn’t help your mood.

American Madison Keys, in just her third tournament of the season, lost 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 at the Volvo Car Open Wednesday to countrywoman and Fed Cup teammate Shelby Rogers. Rogers, as it happens, is a local, Charleston, S.C. born and raised.

Keys was lucky to sneak out the first set, but it went downhill quickly from there. Down 1-4 in the second set, after a on-court coaching consult from former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport – full of good advice, it should be said – she lost seven straight games. Keys avoided the bagel by holding at 0-5 in the third.

Before the match, here’s what she had to say:

After the defeat, she was a woman of her word.

https://twitter.com/Madison_Keys/status/849772074621075456

https://twitter.com/Madison_Keys/status/849771561993351169

There are two options for the players when this happens. All of them get it to some degree or another. And some of it is really, really vile.

People always say, “Ignore it. Don’t engage.” But it’s probably hard to NOT see it, as you might be scrolling through your social media trying to find some positive words from someone, even a total stranger. Plus, you’re out of the tournament, you’re a long way from home and there’s a lot of time to kill. So you’re going to be on your phone.

Keys, who has recently gotten involved with the Fearlessly Girl leadership and empowerment program, has decided to take the abuse head on.

She posted on Instagram about it last fall:

Does it do any good? Probably not; everyone already knows it happens and you can’t shame people who won’t be shamed. It’s naive optimism but you never know. It can’t hurt.

And it probably feels good to actually DO something, rather than just sit there and try to ignore it.

https://twitter.com/Madison_Keys/status/849775179656024064

https://twitter.com/Madison_Keys/status/849779709839888384

(A subtle distinction – perhaps too subtle for social media – not sure you can accept more from a Tweeter who calls her/himself “I hate Simona”)

One troller apologized. Well, sort of. Not really.

https://twitter.com/jonsben42/status/849778989950545920

If you want to get a full picture of just exactly how much of this a player can get after a loss that was unexpected (at least to the wagerers), click here to see Keys’ very active Twitter feed tonight. Disclaimer: some of the language is pretty vulgar.

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