Simona Halep vs. Sloane Stephens, Roland Garros Final Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, 🏆 Final Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇺🇸 (10) Sloane Stephens

Take four! A fourth Grand Slam final for Simona Halep, a fourth chance to break her Grand Slam duck. The world number 1 will come up against reigning U.S Open champion Sloane Stephens in Saturday’s Roland Garros championship match. Whilst it is Halep who is the more established player it is Stephens who is the Grand Slam champion, will Stephen’s come from nowhere to win another Grand Slam title or will Halep finally capture that elusive maiden Grand Slam title?

Simona Halep of Romania.in action during the semi-final of the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Simona Halep is into a third Roland Garros final. Halep’s Paris campaign ended in misery this time last year when she was beaten by Jelena Ostapenko from a set and 3-0 up. 12 months later Halep has the chance to make amends and looks well positioned to do so after a superb 6-1 6-4 victory over Garbine Muguruza in Thursday’s semi-final. Halep’s win over the Spaniard was her best performance of the tournament, one of her best performances of the entire year. It has been a tough route to the final for Halep, the world number 1 started the event with a 3 set win over Alison Riske before claiming straight set wins over Taylor Townsend, Andrea Petkovic and Elise Mertens, at the quarter-final stage Halep came from a set down to defeat Angelique Kerber.

Sloane Stephens now has the opportunity to win a second Grand Slam title within the last 12 months, an incredible achievement given she was side-lined with a serious injury at this time last year. Stephens has looked rock-solid throughout the fortnight. The American’s only challenge came at the third round where she came from a set down to beat Camila Giorgi 8-6 in the third after she cruised through her first few matches over Arantxa Rus and Magdalena Frech. Stephens’ level has certainly increased during the second week as she claimed 3 dominant wins to reach the final in Paris, 6-2 6-0 over Anett Kontaveit, 6-3 6-1 over Daria Kasatkina and finally a 6-4 6-4 semi-final win over Madison Keys.

It is Halep who has had Sloane’s measure in recent times. Halep has won the last 4 matches between the pair and holds an overall 5-2 head-to-head record over the American. Interestingly all 7 of the previous matches between these two have ended in straight sets. The pair met on two occasions in 2017, a 7-6 6-0 win for Halep in Washington followed by a 6-2 6-1 demolition at the Rogers Cup in their most recent encounter.

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Sloane Stephens vs. Madison Keys, Roland Garros SF Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, SF Preview
🇺🇸 (10) Sloane Stephens vs. 🇺🇸 (13) Madison Keys

Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys will renew hostilities when they meet in Thursday’s second semi-final in Paris. The pair famously last met in last year’s U.S Open final, an unexpected match-up that ended in a comfortable victory for Stephens. Indeed, Stephens has won both of their previous matches, both in straight sets, can Keys finally put her game together against Stephens?

Madison Keys of the United States in action during her quarter-final match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Sloane Stephens has generally been untroubled on route to the final 4 in Paris. Stephens started the event with comfortable straight set wins over Arantxa Rus and Magdalena Frech. It was in the third round where Stephens faced her greatest test, a 4-6 6-1 8-6 win over Camila Giorgi. Stephens was on the verge of defeat on several occasions against Giorgi as the Italian twice served for the match in the third set. Stephens has seemingly benefited from her tight win over Giorgi having cruised through her next two matches, a 6-2 6-0 victory over Anett Kontaveit and 6-3 6-1 over Daria Kasatkina book her spot in the semi-finals in Paris for the first time.

Madison Keys will also be competing in the semi-finals in Paris for the first time. Keys is yet to drop a set on route to the final 4, navigating her way through the first week with wins over Sachia Vickery, Caroline Dolehide and Naomi Osaka. Keys battled past a couple of tricky opponents to secure a semi-final showdown with Stephens, a 6-1 6-4 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu and a 7-6 6-4 win over Yulia Putintseva, two mature victories for Keys against opponents with awkward playing styles.

As mentioned above it is Stephens who holds a perfect 2-0 head-to-head record over Keys. Stephens thrashed Keys in last year’s U.S Open final, a 6-3 6-0 victory in what was a pretty noncompetitive match. Stephens also beat Keys 6-4 6-2 in Miami in 2015.

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Simona Halep vs. Garbine Muguruza, Roland Garros SF Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, SF Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇪🇸 (3) Garbine Muguruza

Thursday’s first semi-final at Roland Garros will be a blockbuster encounter between world number 1 Simona Halep and 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza. Halep and Muguruza have been the two most consistent performers in Paris over the last few years, Halep has amassed a 16-4 win/loss record in Paris over the last 4 years whilst Muguruza has an 18/4/ win loss record over the same period of time. Both love Paris and both are in great form heading into this match, who steps up to grab the first spot in the final?

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action during her quarter-final match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Simona Halep’s route to a third semi-final in Paris has not been straightforward. Halep has twice been forced to come from a set down including her opening round match against Alison Riske. Halep upped her level after that initial scare to claim comfortable straight set wins over Taylor Townsend, Andrea Petkovic and Elise Mertens. Halep faced her toughest test at the quarter-final stage where she had to battle hard to defeat an in-form Angelique Kerber 6-7 6-3 6-2, perhaps a victory that will help the Romanian moving forward, a match that Halep would typically have lost in the past.

Garbine Muguruza has arguably been the most impressive of the four semi-finalists. The Spaniard has cruised into the final 4 without dropping a set and has very rarely been challenged. The manner in which Muguruza has come through her last few matches has been especially impressive, a 6-0 6-2 win over Sam Stosur and a 6-2 6-1 win over Maria Sharapova, two dominant performances over a former finalist and a 2-time former champion in Paris. Muguruza is a proven big-time player, she always raises her level and manages to find her best once she is at this stage of a Grand Slam.

It is Muguruza who has had the better of this match-up. Muguruza holds a 3-1 record over Halep. The most recent match between the pair was a 6-1 6-0 demolition in favour of Muguruza in the Cincinnati final last year. However, it was Halep who won their only previous match on a clay court a 3 set win in Stuttgart in 2015.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Maria Sharapova, Roland Garros QF Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, QF Preview
🇪🇸 (3) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇷🇺 (28) Maria Sharapova

Garbine Muguruza will be searching for her first victory over Maria Sharapova when the pair meet in a blockbuster quarter-final clash at Roland Garros on Wednesday. Muguruza and Sharapova both enter this clash in ominous form, both are fresh after not having to complete a fourth round match. This is an exciting battle between two former champions in Paris, who will rise to the occasion and claim victory here?

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action during her third-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Muguruza has waltzed into the quarter-finals in Paris without dropping a set. The Spaniard powered through the opening week with straight set wins over Svetlana Kuznetsova, Fiona Ferro and Samantha Stosur. Muguruza’s fourth round match lasted just 2 games before Lesia Tsurenko retired injured. Roland Garros is easily Muguruza’s most successful tournament, the 2016 champion is certainly now one of the main contenders in 2018.

Maria Sharapova is back into the quarter-finals in Paris for the first time since winning the tournament in 2014. Sharapova is a 2-time former champion in Paris, surprisingly Roland Garros is her most successful Grand Slam and suddenly she looms as a genuine contender to win a third title. Sharapova moved through the first week with a 3 set win over Richel Hogenkamp before improving her level to claim straight set wins over Donna Vekic and Karolina Pliskova. Sharapova was scheduled to meet Serena Williams in the fourth round but was handed a walkover into the next round.

Sharapova holds a perfect 3-0 record over Muguruza. The pair played in 2014 at the quarter-final stage at Roland Garros, an event where Muguruza made her big breakthrough, Sharapova came from a set down to claim a 3 set win on that occasion and did the same thing at the Rogers Cup later in the year in what was their most recent match.

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Simona Halep vs. Angelique Kerber, Roland Garros QF Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, QF Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇩🇪 (12) Angelique Kerber

The pick of the quarter-final match-ups at Roland Garros in 2018 sees the top seeded Simona Halep in search of a maiden Grand Slam title take on 2-time former Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber. Once again it is Halep who is the strong favourite to win the title heading into the later stages at Roland Garros, will it be third time lucky for Halep in 2018 or will the tournament end in bitter disappointment once again?

Angelique Kerber of Germany celebrates reaching the quarter-final stage of the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Whether she admits it or not, the pressure is on Simona Halep, more pressure than anyone else in the draw. Halep is the greatest player left on tour to have not won a Grand Slam, a two-time finalist in Paris, the world number 1 is again in a great position to break her grand Slam duck. Can she do it? Halep made a slow start to the tournament with a 3 set win over Alison Riske but has been untroubled since then in straight set wins over Taylor Townsend, Andrea Petkovic and Elise Mertens. Halep will face a greater test in the quarter-finals against a red-hot Angelique Kerber.

Angelique Kerber has surprised many to reach the quarter-finals in Paris without dropping a set. Kerber lost in the opening round In Paris in her two previous attempts but has finally found her groove on the Parisian clay in 2018. Kerber started the event with easy wins over Mona Barthel and Ana Bogdan before claiming upset victories over Kiki Bertens and Caroline Garcia. Kerber’s 6-2 6-3 demolition of Garcia in the fourth round was particularly impressive.

Halep holds a 5-4 head-to-head record over Kerber. The most recent match between the pair was an epic at the Australian Open earlier this year, a 6-3 4-6 9-7 victory for the Romanian in what arguably remains the match of the year to this date. The only previous match between the pair on clay was in a Fed Cup tie a few years ago and Kerber won that match in straight sets. Expect this to be another tough battle.

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Sloane Stephens vs. Daria Kasatkina, Roland Garros QF Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, QF Preview
🇺🇸 (10) Sloane Stephens vs. 🇷🇺 (14) Daria Kasatkina

Sloane Stephens and Daria Kasatkina will renew hostilities when they meet at the quarter-final stage at Roland Garros on Tuesday. Stephens and Kasatkina have both reached career highs in recent times, both head into this match full of confidence as they aim to reach a maiden semi-final in Paris. This looks like a fairly even match-up on paper, expect to see a lot of entertaining rallies between these two, who will step up and reach the semi-finals?

Sloane Stephens of the United States in action during her third-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Sloane Stephens has cruised into the quarter-finals in Paris, untroubled in all but 1 of her four matches so far at Roland Garros. The reigning U.S Open champion started the event with easy straight set wins over Arantxa Rus and Magdalena Frech before surviving a huge scare to defeat Camila Giorgi 4-6 6-1 8-6. Giorgi twice served for the match in the third set but Stephens maintained her focus and composure and was ultimately too strong for the Italian. Sloane produced a near-flawless performance to defeat Anett Kontaveit 6-2 6-0 and book her spot in the quarter-finals in Paris to ensure she has now reached the final 8 at each Grand Slam, Sloane certainly saves her best tennis for the bigger events.

Daria Kasatkina is into her first Grand Slam quarter-final as she continues to climb up the rankings. Kasatkina also started the week with a couple of straight set wins, beating Kaia Kanepi and Kirsten Flipkens pretty comfortably. It was at the third round stage where Kasatkina dropped her only set on route to the final 8 in a hard-fought 6-1 1-6 6-3 win over Maria Sakkari. The Russian secured her spot in the quarter-finals with an impressive 7-6 6-3 victory over the 2nd seeded Caroline Wozniacki. The match was postponed with the score tied at 3-3 in the second set, on resumption the next day Kasatkina played great tennis to win 3 straight games.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Stephens beat Kasatkina in a long 3 set match on clay in Charleston back in 2016 whilst more recently Kasatkina defeated Stephens 6-4 6-3 at Indian Wells earlier this year.

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Madison Keys vs. Yulia Putintseva, Roland Garros QF Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, QF Preview
🇺🇸 (13) Madison Keys vs. 🇰🇿 Yulia Putintseva

The 13th seeded Madison Keys will come up against Yulia Putintseva in what looms as an interesting quarter-final clash on Tuesday. What makes this match-up a fascinating one is the huge contrast in styles between the pair, the ultra-aggressive, powerful game of Keys up against the all-court game and extreme speed of Putintseva. Keys enters this match as a strong favourite but it is Putintseva who is more comfortable on clay and has beaten Keys in the past, can the Kazakh cause another big upset?

Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan in action during her fourth-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Madison Keys has now reached the quarter-final stage at every Grand Slam event. The American is making a habit of rising to the occasion at the biggest events having reached at least the quarter-final stage in the last 3 Grand Slam events. Keys has rocketed into the final 8 in Paris without dropping a set. Keys blasted through the first week with wins over Sachia Vickery, Caroline Dolehide and Naomi Osaka. Keys booked her spot in the quarter-finals with a commanding 6-1 6-4 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu.

Yulia Putintseva is into a second Grand Slam quarter-final having emulated her run to the final 8 in Paris in 2016. It has been an awesome effort from Putintseva who arrived in Paris in pretty poor form. Yulia started the event with a straight set wins over the 22nd seeded Johanna Konta and Jennifer Brady before coming from a set and a double break down and saving multiple match points to defeat Qiang Wang in 3 sets. Yulia secured her spot in the final 8 with a 6-4 6-3 victory over the 26th seeded Barbora Strycova in what was a very mature performance.

Interestingly it was Putintseva who won the only previous match between the pair, a 6-3 3-6 7-6 victory in Tokyo in 2016.

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Maria Sharapova vs. Serena Williams, Roland Garros R4 Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, R4 Preview
🇷🇺 (28) Maria Sharapova vs. 🇺🇸 Serena Williams

Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams will renew hostilities when they meet at the fourth round stage at Roland Garros on Monday. This will be the 22nd chapter of the most talked about ‘rivalry’ in women’s tennis. Williams has absolutely dominated Sharapova, the American has won the last 18 matches between the pair. Nevertheless, Sharapova will be quietly confident heading into this match. It is Sharapova who is more match-hardened and brings the better form into this blockbuster clash, can Sharapova finally beat Williams?

Serena Williams of the United States in action during her third-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Maria Sharapova is looming as a real contender in Paris. The Russian started the event with a tough 3 set win over Richel Hogenkamp. Sharapova was in danger of a shock opening round exit when she trailed Hogenkamp 0-3 in the deciding set but the Russian rallied to win the next 6 games. Sharapova has improved as the tournament has progressed. The 28th seed claimed a decent 7-5 6-4 win over Donna Vekic in the opening round before producing a superb performance to thrash the 6th seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-2 6-1 in just under an hour. For the first Maria looks like her old self again.

Serena Williams continues to defy the critics. Unseeded, ranked outside the top 450, playing in her first Grand Slam since giving birth about a year ago, the odds are against Serena. However, Serena has risen to the occasion, as we should expect from the 23-time Grand Slam champion. Serena started her Paris campaign with a hard-fought 7-6 6-4 win over Kristyna Pliskova before battling from a set and a break down to defeat Ashleigh Barty 3-6 6-3 6-4. Serena produced her best performance since her return to the tour at the third round stage where she comfortably beat the 11th seeded Julia Goerges 6-3 6-4. Can Serena go all the way in Paris?

Williams holds a 19-2 H2H record over Sharapova and has won the last 18 matches between the pair. An obliteration. The most recent match between the pair was at the Australian Open in 2016, Serena won that match 6-4 6-1. Sharapova has never beaten Serena on clay, will that change on Monday in Paris?

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Lesia Tsurenko, Roland Garros R4 Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, R4 Preview
🇪🇸 (3) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇺🇦 Lesia Tsurenko

Garbine Muguruza may have entered Roland Garros in poor form and with seemingly little hope of contending for the title but all of that has changed after the first week in Paris. Muguruza was arguably one of the most impressive performers during the first week, steamrolling into the second week without dropping a set. Next up for Muguruza is Lesia Tsurenko. Muguruza will enter this match as a strong favourite against an opponent that has already exceeded expectations in Paris, can Tsurenko continue her dream run in Paris?

Lesia Tsurenko of the Ukraine in action during her third-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Muguruza has done very well to come through a very tough section of the draw without much fuss. The 3rd seed started the week with a 7-6 6-2 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova before beating Fiona Ferro 6-4 6-3. Muguruza confirmed her spot in the third round with a 6-0 6-2 demolition of Sam Stosur, Muguruza’s win over the Aussie was arguably the most impressive performance anyone was able to produce during the first week. Muguruza has an awesome record in Paris, a champion in 2016, quarter-final appearances in 2014, and 2015 and again into the second week in the last 2 years. Muguruza now looms as a real contender for the title in Paris.

Lesia Tsurenko is into the second week of a Grand Slam for just the second time in her career. Prior to this year’s event the Ukrainian had never even reached the third round in Paris. It has been a great week for Tsurenko who started the tournament with a 3 set win over Stefanie Voegele. Tsurenko booked her spot in the fourth round with back-to-back wins over seeded opponents, 3-6 6-4 6-0 win over 15th seeded CoCo Vandeweghe followed by a 6-2 6-4 win over the 19th seeded Magdalena Rybarikova.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Tsurenko upset the Spaniard in straight sets in Cincinnati in 2015, more recently Muguruza beat Tsurenko 6-4 6-4 in Wuhan last year.

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Caroline Garcia vs. Angelique Kerber, Roland Garros R4 Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, R4 Preview
🇫🇷 (7) Caroline Garcia vs. 🇩🇪 (12) Angelique Kerber

A Fascinating fourth round clash at Roland Garros on Monday sees the 7th seeded Caroline Garcia take on the 12th seeded Angelique Kerber. Caroline Garcia is the last French player left in the singles draw across the men’s and women’s draws. Garcia had a big breakthrough in Paris last year where she reached the quarter-finals and will be keen to emulate that result in 2018. Kerber has the better of the H2H but Garcia is better suited to the clay.

Caroline Garcia of France in action during her second round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Caroline Garcia has not been at her best in Paris but she has been good enough to get the job done. Garcia started the week with a straightforward demolition of Ying-Ying Duan before requiring 3 sets to get past Shuai Peng. Garcia produced her best performance in the third round where she defeated Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1 6-3. It has been a fairly favourable draw for Garcia, her first big test will come against Kerber.

Angelique Kerber has moved into the second week in Paris without dropping a set. A great result for the German who had suffered back-to-back opening round exits at Roland Garros in the last 2 years. Kerber started the event with a couple of easy wins over Mona Barthel and Ana Bogdan. Kerber faced a real test in the third round where she played Kiki Bertens, a tough 7-6 7-6 victory. Kerber was clutch under pressure and came out on top in the important moments.

Kerber holds a 4-2 H2H advantage over Garcia. Kerber has won 4 of the last 5 matches between the pair, most recently a comfortable 6-1 6-1 victory in Indian Wells earlier this year.

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