Madrid R2: (1) Serena Williams vs Sloane Stephens
The next chapter in the Serena-Sloane rivalry will be written on Monday when the two lock horns in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open.
Serena Williams is unbeaten in 2015 and made an ominous start to her 2015 Madrid campaign. The world number 1 thumped Madison Brengle 6-0 6-1 in just under 1 hour of pure domination. Serena hit 36 winners to just 18 unforced errors, dictating proceedings from start to finish.
Sloane Stephens was forced to work much harder for her first round victory in Madrid. The American came from a set down to defeat compatriot, Bethanie Mattek Sands 3-6 6-1 6-4.
Serena holds a 3-1 head to head record over Sloane, including victories in their last two encounters. Sloane famously upset Serena in the quarter-finals of the 2013 Australian Open, announcing herself to the tennis world.
Serena won their most recent match, 6-7 6-3 6-2 in Indian just a couple of months ago. Sloane once again showed that she is able to punish Serena when she is off her game, however when Serena found her groove she was too good.
Sloane has always been competitive in her matches with Serena, this one should be no different. This will be the first meeting between the pair on a clay court, the surface could given Sloane an even greater opportunity to cause Serena problems.
Serena has looked close to unbeatable all year, given her extremely impressive first up performance on Sunday, it’s impossible to pick against her here.
Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Sloane Stephens in 2 sets