Amazingly lovable French Open semi-finalist sheds tears for homeless puppies; she also played tennis with President Obama
Paris: Shelby Rogers, the tearful Cinderella of Roland Garros and the first American woman not called Williams to make the French Open last-eight since 2005, is determined that sudden fame will not be her undoing.
American Shelby Rogers poses for a photo during previews for the WTA Finals at Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore on October 18, 2014. Pic/Getty Images
Rogers takes on Spanish fourth seed Garbine Muguruza for a semi-final place today having defied her modest world ranking of 108 to see off a series of big hitters. On Sunday, the 23-year-old from Charleston became just the ninth woman outside the top 100 to make the quarter-finals since 1983 when she beat Romania's 25th seed Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets.
Tears on court
It was a victory greeted with tears on Suzanne Lenglen court where she quickly had to borrow a handkerchief from TV interviewer and ex-Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli. "100% tears all the time. Sad, happy, hungry, reading a book, watching a movie. They flow very easily," said Rogers. "Those little puppy commercials, adopt a puppy. No, change the channel. Can't do it."
Rogers, who had never made it past the third round at a major before coming to Paris, is regarded as one of the nicest players on the tour. "Who I am is what got me here, and I can't change it. It's who I am, so," she said. Her fellow players are on board. "You're such a gem @Shelby_Rogers_ !! There's not a single person that deserves this more! #proud," tweeted fellow US player Sloane Stephens after Sunday's win.
More cash to flow in
Rogers will pocket over $300,000 for making the last eight. That's five times what she has made this year and a stark contrast to the $390 she earned when losing second round at a low-key event in Florida in January. "I hope that I can inspire some people too because that's really one of the biggest reasons why I play, for the kids growing up, for the people from Charleston. I want to be a good role model. Hopefully I am."
Rogers has visited the White House and played tennis with President Obama. "They emailed me and asked me if I wanted to go. That's a no-brainer. He was very charismatic. He's really good at tennis as well, from what I saw. He has good footwork," she said.