Serena Williams vs Sloane Stephens: US Open Preview and Prediction
In a battle of former US Open champions, Serena Williams locks horns with Sloane Stephens in a riveting third-round clash tonight.
Chasing a record 24th grand slam win, it has been usual business for Serena. She romped home to a straight-sets win against homegirl, Kristie Ahn in the first round. Another comfortable win followed as she dispatched Margarita Gasparyan 6-2 6-4. Serena did struggle with her first serve as she won a meagre 62% of points on it but capitalized on Gasparyan's unforced errors to sail through.
On the other hand, Stephens has shown glimpses of her old self after a string of consistent performances. This is the first time that the American has won back-to-back matches since Wimbledon 2019. She kickstarted her campaign with a convincing 6-3 6-3 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu in the opener. Stephens delivered a ruthless performance dismantling Olga Govorstova 6-2 6-2 in the second round.
"Obviously no fans, the atmosphere won't be as big, but obviously a big opportunity to play against the greatest player in the world," said Stephens relishing the showdown.
“She’s such a good player. She’s so smooth, and then bam, there’s like five winners, she’s won here before, and she’s beaten me before, so it’s not going to be easy," opined Serena praising her opponent.
Head to Head record
Serena leads the head to head record 5-1. Stephens won her only match against Serena in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open.
While Serena is the favourite to win, she has to control her nerves and avoid any meltdowns or outbursts. She has been coming more often to the net in recent matches and will look to continue the strategy to break through Stephens's defense.
A strong start will help Serena. Stephens can turn around her whole season if she manages to win this match. She is one of the few players who can challenge Serena's ferocious strikes from the baseline. Despite a few hiccups entering her game now and then, Serena does remain the player to beat.
Prediction - Serena Williams to win in three sets
Featured image credits: tennis.com