?? Roland Garros, SF Prediction
?? (10) Sloane Stephens vs. ?? (13) Madison Keys
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Stephens and Keys meet in another unexpected match-up at the later stage of a Grand Slam, both will be competing at the semi-final stage at Roland Garros for the first time and both will be aiming to reach a second Grand Slam final. Stephens has easily accounted for Keys in their two previous matches and I suspect we will see a similar result here.
Stephens and Keys both bring great form into this match. Stephens has just dropped just 1 set this tournament whilst Keys is yet to drop a set. Both have proven that they are big-time players, whilst both had poor form in the lead-up to the tournament both have really stepped things up in Paris to ensure they have now both reached the quarter-finals of every Grand Slam event.
I like Stephens in this match-up. Firstly, the surface favours Stephens. Stephens has far better movement, the heavy conditions in Paris will mean that Keys will have great difficulty penetrating the awesome defensive skills of Stephens and give more opportunity for Sloane to get into extended rallies where she has the great advantage. Secondly, the match-up favours Stephens. Keys struggles against the best counter-punchers, Keys has poor records against Kerber and Halep and was thrashed by Stephens in last year’s U.S Open final. Whilst Keys may be more competitive here I just can’t see her playing well enough for long enough to get the better of Stephens. Thirdly, Stephens is mentally tougher, she proved that last year at the U.S Open. Keys has a tendency to wobble in these situations and is far more inconsistent than Sloane. All signs point to a Stephens win.