Following an earlier meeting at Indian Wells, world No. 1 Serena Williams and American youngster Sloane Stephens will meet once again on the WTA tour to rekindle their rivalry. Stephens’ ascended to notoriety with her upset victory over Williams at the Australian Open two years ago but still trails her American counterpart 1-3 in the head-to-head series.
19-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams wasted little time in advancing to the second round of the Madrid Open. Up against fellow American Madison Brengle, Williams stormed through the opening set 6-0 in under 30 minutes. Over the following 20 minutes, Williams had added another four games and dropped her first game of the match for a 6-0, 4-1 lead. She quickly concluded the match with minutes to spare before completing a full hour on court.
Her upcoming opponent, Sloane Stephens, rallied from a set down to secure her spot in the second round of the tournament. She defeated fellow American Bethanie Matek-Sands 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to secure her spot against Williams. Stephens won 76% of her first service points, saved seven break points and converted four of her own to secure the win in one hour and 53 minutes.
This marks the fifth time that Williams and Stephens will cross paths on the professional tour with Williams leading the series 3-1. Apart from their most recebt meeting at Indian Wells several months ago, the two had not crossed paths in over two years, which certainly added to the flair. In the end, however, Williams should still have little trouble closing out this match.
Prediction: Serena Williams in Straight Sets