Two WTA US Open champions will collide in Eastbourne

Sloane Stephens and Emma Raducanu will face each other for only the second time

Tennis fans have their sights set on Wimbledon which begins on July 1, but that does not mean there are not great matches to watch in the days leading up to the third Grand Slam of the year.

On Tuesday at Eastbourne, two former US Open champions will meet for only the second time in their careers. 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens faces 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu.

The two last met at the 2022 Australian Open, months after Raducanu's historic win in New York going from the qualifying rounds to the final. Raducanu won the match in three sets.

Similarities between Sloane Stephens and Emma Raducanu

Sloane Stephens and Emma Raducanu have not yet been able to duplicate their successes at another Grand Slam. Many thought Stephens would do it on her favorite surface, clay, and Raducanu's career has experienced so many twists and turns since her historic win. Injuries, coaching changes, and surgeries have plagued her.

Stephens and Raducanu are also among the female players who are surprisingly honest about their mental health (along with fellow Grand Slam champions Bianca Andreescu and Naomi Osaka). They do not shy away from taboo topics. A recent example is Stephens' discussion on fertility and egg freezing.

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Raducanu has needed thick skin because the media has unfairly scrutinized her talent and career since winning her maiden Grand Slam in 2021. Though she is one of many players opting out of the Paris Summer Olympics, some of the heaviest criticism was leveled at her because of the decision.

Both Sloane Stephens and Emma Raducanu are good for women's tennis. Their stories and career journeys are part of what makes the sport so interesting. This match will be a fun one to watch and hopefully it will not be 2 1/2 years before the two play each other again.

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