Stephens was beaten by Victoria Azarenka in round four. (SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Sloane Stephens was quick to dismiss the suggestion that she was cheering for Ana Ivanovic when she beat Serena Williams on Sunday.
Australia's Channel 7 were able to get footage of Stephens mimicking the post-match celebrations made by Ivanovic's team when filming inside the gym after the Serbian's unexpected triumph. Stephens has since denied that she was in any way cheering against Williams, and stated that she'd simply enjoyed the manner of the reaction to the win.
“At the end of the match, Ivanovic's coaches pretty much gave each other head butts and kisses, and I thought that was the funniest thing ever because I have never seen a more excited head butt/kiss at the end of the match," said Stephens. "My hitting partner Andrew Fitzpatrick and I were like, Oh, my God we were going to do the same thing. We were so excited."
"Then of course after I'm on the bike, and then I was like, Were they recording that? Then of course in posts and everything and edit and of course I'm cheering against Serena, which had nothing to do with it. So that was it. We were just having some fun.”
Following last year's flare up between Stephens and Serena it's understandable that Stephens's actions were picked up. Even so, given that Stephens took three weeks off at the end of last season because of mental fatigue, most likely caused by the media storm surrounding her brief war of words with Williams, her account appears to be believable.