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    30 May 2023

    Sloane Stephens laments increasing abuse towards tennis players at French Open 2023

    Tennis Players Face Increasing Online Abuse Despite Efforts to Thwart It

    Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens has spoken out about the worsening abuse faced by tennis players online. This comes as French Open organisers offer players artificial intelligence protection against social media trolls.

    “It’s been a problem my entire career,” said Stephens after her first-round win at Roland Garros, adding that attempts to stop it have little effect. She explained that even with banned keywords on Instagram, abusers can easily bypass filters. The new technology offered by the French Open aims to filter out insults and abusive language from platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram. The scheme is aimed at safeguarding players’ mental health which is “a priority for Roland Garros”.

    But despite efforts to curb online abuse in sports circles globally, there seems to be no end in sight.

    Sloane Stephen Shines Again After Beating 16th Seed Karolina Pliskova

    American tennis player Sloane Stephens was not ranked high enough when the draw was made last week but showed why she is among the tournament’s most dangerous unseeded players after beating Czech 16th seed and two-time Grand Slam finalist Karolina Pliskova in an eye-catching first-round encounter.

    Elina Svitolina Calls for Help for Ukraine amid Controversy over Belarusian Player Aryna Sabalenka

    Controversy erupted at the French Open when Ukrainian player Marta Kostyuk was booed for not shaking hands with Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka whose country has supported Russia’s war against Ukraine.

    Aware of the political issues at play, Elina Svitolina called on people to focus their attention on helping those affected by the conflict instead of engaging in empty chatter and hate speech.

    “We are missing the main point that people now, at this time, need help as never before,” she said during a post-match conference adding that parents are losing parts of their bodies while children lose their parents.

    Svitolina won her first major since becoming a mother in 2019 last week which is also her 17th WTA title overall. She promised to donate her prize money from Strasbourg to support Ukrainian children affected by war. However, regarding Roland Garros winnings, she said she will assess what cities require urgent needs then donate there accordingly.

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