Wuhan R2: (5) Garbine Muguruza vs Sloane Stephens
An intriguing second round clash at the Wuhan Open on Tuesday sees Garbine Muguruza come up against Sloane Stephens for the very first time. This promises to be an exciting contest between two of the future stars of the game. Muguruza will be desperate to win as many matches as possible this week as she looks to claim her spot at the WTA Finals in Singapore whilst Sloane is looking to end a disappointing year on a high.
Garbine Muguruza has been in poor form ever since reaching the final at Wimbledon, as a result Garbine has slipped to 11th in the race to Singapore standings. The Spaniard started her Asian campaign last week in Tokyo, Garbine defeated Barbora Strycova in her first match before succumbing to Belinda Bencic in straight sets. It’s a shame to see Garbine play such wayward tennis, at her best she is capable of beating anyone but at worst she is unfortunately capable of losing to anyone. Garbine needs a good week in Wuhan if she is to reach the WTA Finals for the first time, a loss here would make it close to impossible for her to qualify.
After a shock first round exit at the U.S Open, Sloane Stephens kick-started her Asian campaign in Seoul last week. On paper, it looked like a great chance for Sloane to claim her second career title but it wasn’t to be. The American suffered a shock quarter-final loss to Belarussian qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich. An embarrassing loss for the American. Sloane advanced to the second round in Wuhan courtesy of a 7-6 6-3 victory over compatriot Alison Riske on Monday.
This is a really difficult match to call, especially because this will be the first career meeting between the pair. It’s very tough to separate the pair, both have quite similar abilities. I’m going to side with Garbine, she is due for a good win and will be keen to avoid another early loss with Singapore on her mind. It’s hard to know where Stephens is at.