Sloane Stephens vs Shuai Zhang, Australian Open R1 Preview

Australian Open ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ R1 Preview
(13) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Sloane Stephens vs ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Shuai Zhang

The 2018 Australian Open will be Sloane Stephensโ€™ first Grand Slam appearance since claiming her maiden Grand Slam title at the U.S Open last year. Stephens will begin the event with an opening round clash against Chinaโ€™s Shuai Zhang. Interestingly, Stephens is yet to win a match since her win over Madison Keys in the final of last yearโ€™s U.S Open, Stephens arrives in Melbourne on the back of 5 consecutive losses.

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Sloane Stephens and Shuai Zhang both made their big breakthroughโ€™s at the Grand Slam level at Melbourne Park, both have great memories at the event. Stephens reached the semi-finals in 2013 whilst Zhang reached the quarter-finals in 2016. The quick hard courts in Melbourne really suit both Stephens and Zhang.

Sloane Stephensโ€™ only match in the lead-up to the Australian Open was In Sydney where she was trashed by Camila Giorgi 6-3 6-0 in the opening round. Shuai Zhangโ€™s form is better but unspectacular, Zhang reached the second round in Shenzhen and Hobart, beaten by Diyas in 3 sets in Shenzhen and Sabalenka in straight sets in Hobart.

Stephens holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Zhang. The most recent match between the pair took place on grass in Birmingham in 2014, Stephens won 6-3 6-1.

Sloane Stephens vs Barbora Strycova, Zhuhai Group Stage Preview

WTA Elite Trophy, ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐ŸŒน๐Ÿ‰ Zhuhai RR Preview + Prediction
(3) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Sloane Stephens vs (11) ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Barbora Strycova

The final group stage match at the 2017 WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai will see reigning U.S Open champion Sloane Stephens take on Barbora Strycova. Stephens and Strycova both proved to be no match for Anastasija Sevastova in their opening matches from the camellia group, both were defeated by the Latvian in straight sets ensuring it would be Sevastova would progresses through to the semi-finals. Stephens holds a 2-1 H2h advantage over Strycova and has won their last two matches, however, Stephens has not won a match since her historic U.S Open triumph. Can the American end a career changing season with a victory on Friday night with a victory over Barbora Strycova?

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Sloane Stephens vs Anastasija Sevastova, Zhuhai Group Stage Preview

WTA Elite Trophy, ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐ŸŒน๐Ÿ‰ Zhuhai RR Preview + Prediction
(3) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Sloane Stephens vs (5) ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Anastasija Sevastova

Sloane Stephens will make her debut at the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai on Wednesday evening when she comes up against Anastasija Sevastova in the first match from the Camelia Group. Stephens and Sevastova have been drawn alongside Barbora Strycova in what looms as one of the tougher groups. Stephens recently defeated Sevastova in an epic quarter-final encounter which ended in a final set tiebreak, a critical victory for Stephens on route to her first Grand Slam triumph. Interestingly, both Stephens and Sevastova were unable to win a match in the couple of tournaments they played in Asia after their U.S Open success. One of these two will break that drought on Wednesday, who will it be?

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Madison Keys vs Sloane Stephens, U.S Open Final Preview + Prediction

US Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ—ฝ๐Ÿš• Final Preview + Prediction
๐Ÿ† (15) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Madison Keys vs ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Sloane Stephens

The new generation is here! Two African American women are into the final of the U.S Open, neither of them named Williams. Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens will square off for the final Grand Slam title of 2017 at Flushing Meadows, a maiden Grand Slam title is up for grabs, it will be a life changing moment for the winner. No one could have predicted this final at the start of the tournament, Keys and Stephens both brought good form into New York but both have only just recently returned to competitive actions after frustrating injury setbacks.

After all the setbacks, both will leave everything out on the court on Saturday in what should be a highly competitive final. This match-up will features an interesting contrast in styles, the extreme power of Keys up against the incredible athleticism of Stephens. it was Sloane Stephens won the only previous match between the pair in straight sets in Miami of 2015. Who will step up and rise to the occasion?

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Venus Williams vs Sloane Stephens, U.S Open SF Preview

US Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ—ฝ๐Ÿš• Semi-Final Preview + Prediction:
SF #1: (9) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Venus Williams vs ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Sloane Stephens

Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens will go head-to-head for a spot in U.S Open final when they do battle on Friday at Flushing Meadows. This will be a battle of the generations, the evergreen, 37-year-old Venus Williams up against the rising, 24-year-old Sloane Stephens. Venus and Sloane both confirmed their spot in the semi-finals with epic victories on Tuesday, both emerged victories in dramatic final set tiebreaks. Venus will be aiming to reach her third Grand Slam final of 2017 and hopefully go on to win her first major since 2008. Conversely, Sloane Stephens will be aiming to reach her first Grand Slam final and potentially a first major title. This looms as a fairly even match-up, another classic match could be on the cards on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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Anastasija Sevastova vs Sloane Stephens, U.S Open QF Preview

US Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ—ฝ๐Ÿš• QF Preview + Prediction:
(16) ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Anastasija Sevastova vs ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Sloane Stephens

A huge opportunity presents itself for Anastasija Sevastova and Sloane Stephens on Tuesday when they do battle for a place at the semi-final stage at Flushing Meadows. Both would be unexpected semi-finalists. This will be the first ever meeting between Sevastova and Stephens, both head into this match in great form having knocked out top players on route to this stage of the event. Sevastova is fresh off eliminating Maria Sharapova in what was one of the biggest wins of her career, whilst Sloane Stephens has already beaten four quality opponents in New York. It will be interesting to see who steps up and takes this big opportunity, nerves will undoubtedly be a big factor.

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Dominika Cibulkova vs Sloane Stephens, U.S Open R2 Preview

US Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ—ฝ๐Ÿš• R2 Preview + Prediction
(11) ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Dominika Cibulkova vs ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Sloane Stephens

One of the most exciting second round clashes in New York on Wednesday will see the 11th seeded Dominika Cibulkova take on in-form American Sloane Stephens. Cibulkova and Stephens both arrived in New York in great form, Stephens made the semi-finals in Montreal in Cincinnati whilst Cibulkova made the final in New Haven last week. Stephens holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Cibulkova, their most recent match was an epic in the Acapulco final last year which Stephens won in three gruelingย sets. This should be another exciting clash between Cibulkova and Stephens, two evenly matched opponents.

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Simona Halep vs Sloane Stephens, Cincinnati SF Preview

Western & Southern Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒ‰ Cincinnati SF Preview + Prediction
SF #2: (2) ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด Simona Halep vs (wc) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Sloane Stephens

Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens will contest Saturdayโ€™s second semi-final at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Halepโ€™s quest to finally claim the world number 1 ranking is still alive in Cincinnati, if the Romanian wins the title she will overtake Karolina Pliskova and become the new world number 1. Halep will be a strong favourite heading into this semi-final clash given she has won the last three matches against Stephens, most recently a few weeks ago in Washington D.C where Halep won in straight sets. However, Sloane Stephens is in impeccable form and will enter this match with nothing to lose, making her a dangerous opponent.

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Sloane Stephens vs Petra Kvitova, Rogers Cup R2 Preview

Rogers Cup, ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’ R2 Match Preview
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Sloane Stephens vs ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Petra Kvitova

Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova will go head-to-head at the second round stage of the Rogers Cup on Wednesday, surprisingly this will be the first career meeting between the pair. Stephens and Kvitova are both on the comeback trail after setbacks earlier this year, every match and every win is important for both players at this stage.

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Eugenie Bouchard vs Sloane Stephens, Rio Olympics R1 Preview

2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro R1 ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Eugenie Bouchard vs ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Sloane Stephens

Saturdayโ€™s most intriguing first round clash in Rio de Janeiro sees Eugenie Bouchard come up against Sloane Stephens. A couple of seasons ago many experts predicted these two would be at the top of the game by now, in reality they have both been disappointments. This looms as a critical match between two fairly fierce rivals, a match both will be desperate to win, mainly to avoid another disappointing loss.

Bouchard seems to have a slight edge heading into this match. Bouchardโ€™s recent form has generally been far more impressive than Sloaneโ€™s. Bouchard played a couple of quality matches in Montreal last week, most notably a stunning straight set win over Dominika Cibulkova. Stephens has lost three matches in a row heading into Rio, Sloane suffered a straight set loss to Risa Ozaki in Washington and a straight set loss to Camila Giorgi in Washington. The truth is that both ladies are quite inconsistent and therefore unpredictable.

Bouchard and Stephens both arrived at the Olympic village fairly early and have had days to prepare for their opening round clash.


The head-to-head record between Bouchard and Stephens is split at 2 wins apiece. The pair have traded victories since the American won their first match in 2012. Their most recent match was earlier this year in Indian Wells where Bouchard claimed a 7-5 7-5 victory. All four of their previous matches were on a hard court, the same surface as Saturdayโ€™s match.

This is a tough match to call because these two are quite evenly matched. Bouchard has generally showed better signs in recent months, Bouchard has been more committed at recent events whilst Stephens has been disinterested. The American will give a greater effort in this match and is more than capable of claiming victory. However, Iโ€™m slightly leaning towards Bouchard to win this because of her superior commitment to being aggressive and her greater determination to succeed, two important factors in what should be a close match.

Prediction: Eugenie Bouchard to defeat Sloane Stephens in 3 sets