sloane stephens & serena williams

At he Australian Open, American teenager Sloane Stephens got the better of compatriot Serena Williams who had been battling injury throughout the competition.

*Serena Williams has passed the torch to a new generation of American women tennis players.

For the first time in her career, the champion athlete lost the Australian Open to another, younger (African) American woman, Sloane Stephens.

In fact, there were a lot of first for the budding queen of tennis, as they say.

Australian Open Update: After Defeating Serena Williams, Wednesday, Sloane Stephens Lost Her Semi Finals match to Victoria Azarenka – Get the Full Story (and Watch Highlights) at ESPN Tennis

This was Sloane’s first major victory and first win against one of the Williams sisters for her generation.

It could be a start of something new, or not.

Serena was suffering back spasms during the match and pain was shooting throughout the middle of the second set. However, Sloane’s skills somehow suffered after Serena’s injury.

At the end of the day, the victory was clearly Sloane’s. And from there, the media’s chatter about Serena being her mentor began.

A reporter approached after the match, beginning her line of questioning with “As a mentor for …” Serena quickly and bluntly corrected the reporter saying, “Honestly, I’ve never really given her advice.”

Was the commentary rooted in race? Both Sloane and Serena are black.

Commentators hadn’t before described any of Serena’s victors her mentees, most of which have been white foreigners.

It’s an interesting topic for discussion.

Read more at the New Yorker.