Sloane Stephens Reflects On Mental Health Importance After Reaching Last 16 In Paris - UBITENNIS
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Sloane Stephens Reflects On Mental Health Importance After Reaching Last 16 In Paris

Sloane Stephens is into the last 16 in Paris for the seventh time in nine appearances.

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Sloane Stephens (@rolandgarros - Twitter)

Sloane Stephens has reflected on the importance of mental health as she progresses into the second week at Roland Garros.

The 2018 finalist is into the last 16 in Paris after a 6-3 7-5 win over Karolina Muchova.

Despite a tentative end to the second set, the American sealed victory to reach the fourth round for the 7th time in her last nine appearances in Paris.

After the match Stephens was asked about mental health an issue that has cropped up after Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the tournament.

The world number 59 has suffered her own mental health issues having lost both her grandparents to COVID-19 at the back end of last year.

Stephens once again emphasised how important mental health is and thinks too many players suffer in silence, “Mental, physical, emotional health, I think it’s all very important obviously for everyone because we have just gone through a pandemic and life has been very different and
very difficult,”
the American said in her press conference.

“Everyone’s faced their own struggles in different ways and everyone has handled it differently. So, yeah, I think it’s always important to talk about how you’re feeling and where you can make some changes and make yourself feel better and take care of yourself. So, yeah, I think it’s definitely top priority for everyone, not just tennis players but also you guys who are dealing with just life in general.

“I feel like it’s not spoken about enough. I feel like a lot of players on our
tour suffer in silence. And I think that is not cool and not fair and we should definitely approach it differently, because obviously, like I said, everyone deals with things differently and in their own way. The more support, the
better. I think not only for us girls supporting each other but for the tour to be able to support us in different ways is super helpful.”

As Stephens continues to raise awareness off the court and inspire others in the process, the American is not doing too badly on the court with her sights firmly set on another deep run.

The American will face Barbora Krejcikova in the next round who knocked out Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-2.

That result means that only Sofia Kenin, Serena Williams and Iga Swiatek remain from the top ten players.

Ahead of Stephens’ clash with Krejcikova the American told the press how memories in 2018 are flooding back, “Obviously 2018 was a great year,” Stephens said.

“But I think obviously even before that I think when I was, you know, my first big fourth round or whatever at a slam was here, and obviously consistently making fourth round here has been kind of a staple for me, which has been great. Obviously one of my favourite tournaments of the year, so peaking here has always been really important.”

Monday’s clash between Stephens and Krejcikova will be their first career meeting.

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Jelena Ostapenko beats Greer Minnen to reach the second round at Eastbourne

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Number 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko beat Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 after 1 hour and 29 minutes to secure a spot in the second round at the Rothesay international in Eastbourne. 

Ostapenko won the Eastbourne title in 2021 and reached the 2022 final before losing to Petra Kvitova. 

Minnen led by a break three times and served for the set at 5-4 and 6-5 but Ostapenko pulled back on serve each time. 

Ostapenko fired a backhand crosscourt winner to earn three set points at 6-3 in the tie-break. The Latvian player converted his first chance with a forehand return winner. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set. Ostapenko earned a second break in the third game, but she took an off court medical time-out after a fall at 3-1 in the second set. 

Ostapenko recovered by winning four consecutive games with two breaks to win the second set 6-1. 

“Grass is a great surface, but sometimes it can be slippery and really tricky. So I took the medical time-out just to make sure I am fine”, said Ostapenko.  

 “I think the surface suits me really well. The first I played on grass, I was like: ‘How can we play tennis on this surface ? I don’t understand what’s happening here, but then every year was better and better”, said Ostapenko. 

British wild card Harriet Dart battled past former Wimbledon quarter finalist Marie Bouzhkova 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 after 3 hours and 29 minutes in the third-longest match on the WTA Tour this year. 

Bouzhkova broke twice in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead, but Dart won six of the next seven games with three breaks of serve to win the first set 7-5. 

Dart fought back from 1-4 down to force a tie-break with two breaks of serve in the sixth and eighth games. The British player never held a match point in the second set. Bouzhkova converted her fourth set point to seal the tie-break 9-7 after a 88-minute second set. 

After a trade of breaks at the start of the third set, Dart earned a decisive break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. The British wild card saved a break point at 4-3 en route to the win. 

Dart was scheduled to face 2022 Wimbeldon champion Elena Rybakina, but the Kazakh player withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to a change of schedule. Dart will face wild card Sofia Kenin, who won the Australian Open title and reached the final at Roland Garros in 2020.  

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.

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Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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