Sloane Stephens advances to French Open Round of 16 with victory over Yulia Putintseva, as American tries to win at Roland Garros for the first time
- Sloane Stephens has moved onto the second week of the French Open
- She will face second seed and Australian Open winner Aryna Sabalenka next
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Sloane Stephens eased into the French Open fourth round and then thanked her mother Sybil for gifting her a unique athletic prowess.
Stephens, who has now won 35 main-draw matches at Roland Garros, beat Yulia Putintseva in three sets to progress into the French Open second week.
Her mother was the first black female swimmer to be named a first-team Division I All-American when she competed for Boston University.
And Stephens said: ‘I get my power from my mom. She’s the most athletic person in our family!’
Sloane Stephens was all smiles after beating Yulia Putintseva in three sets on Friday in Paris
In 12 appearances at this tournament, she has made the second week 10 times.
‘When it is Roland Garros, I know it is time to play,’ she added.
The American will play second seed and Australian Open winner Aryna Sabalenka in the next round.
Sabalenka boycotted her post-match press conference Friday after being asked about her ties to Belarussian dictator Alexander Lukashenko by a Ukrainian reporter following the previous match.
Sabalenka spoke with an interviewer after the match, though it was not clear who it was.
‘For many months now I have answered these questions at tournaments and been very clear in my feelings and my thoughts,’ she said.
‘I know that I have to provide answers to the media on things not related to my tennis or my matches, but on Wednesday I did not feel safe in press conference.
‘I should be able to feel safe when I do interviews with the journalists after my matches. For my own mental health and well-being, I have decided to take myself out of this situation today, and the tournament has supported me in this decision.
‘It hasn’t been an easy few days, and now my focus is continue to play well here in Paris.’