World No. 18 Sloane Stephens, who lost her opening-round matches in Doha and Dubai, addresses the significant amount of media attention she receives. The American objected to it last year after reaching the Australian Open semifinals and later issuing some controversial public comments about Serena Williams. For the most part, Stephens has shut down media access, outside of press conferences, since last March.
“It's still the same attention,” she told reporters in Dubai. “It's still very taxing, I'd say. Actually, this year and last year I'm in pretty much the same exact place. It's not that bad. It's still building, and hopefully keeps improving.”
The 20-year-old said life as a pro tennis player can be difficult.
“It's definitely lonely,” said Stephens. “Obviously it's long weeks, a long time away from home, but I think being younger, maybe, I don't know, but I think everyone kind of keeps to themselves anyway. My life is good. I have a really good life. Some days, you're like ‘my life sucks,’ but it could be way different and I could be in a completely different situation. I'm just thankful for everything that I have.”