An intriguing match-up is set to take place on the grass courts in Eastbourne on Monday afternoon, as American youngster Sloane Stephens and France’s Caroline Garcia clash for the second time on the professional tour. It is also the second time they meet this season, as the two competitors met in a Fed Cup tie recently, which France won 3-2. Garcia’s win over Stephens was one of those three French victories.
After reaching the fourth round of the French Open, where she lost to the eventual finalist Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens arrived in Birmingham, where she looked to transition from the slower red clay to the slippery grass courts in the UK. She defeated Francesca Shiavone and Alison Riske before losing to Shuai Zhang in the following round.
World No. 45 Caroline Garcia began her clay court season with a loss to Shuai Peng in the opening round in Charleston, but rebounded with a title win in Bogota, Colombia before picking up consecutive victories in the Fed Cup tie against the USA. She would then begin her clay court season with a fantastic showing in Madrid, where she would beat Angelique Kerber and Sara Errani before losing to Radwanksa in quarter-final round.
From there, Garcia would conclude her clay court season with a first round exit to Ana Ivanovic, which prompted her to quickly transition to grass. She arrived in Birmingham but would lose to Victoria Duval in the opening round of the event.
This is just the second time these two competitors cross paths on the professional tour, and the second time this year as well. Their first meeting was on the hard courts in France, but this will be a far different surface, and one that will favour Stephens.
Prediction: Sloane Stephens in Three Sets