While dozens of matches are played everyday at the Grand Slam tournaments, it was not difficult to pick out the enthralling match-up between Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens that will grace the second day of the French Open action. The two Americans will step across the net from each other for the first time in their respective career. Stephens holds a memorable history against Venus’ younger sister, Serena, but will need to play an entirely different game against the equally savvy older sibling. The head-to-head series stands at 0-0.
Not one to play too many tournaments, Venus Williams has learnt that being selective can be more beneficial in terms of conserving energy on the tour. The veteran played two clay court tournaments ahead of the French Open. In Madrid, she lost her opening round match to Victoria Azarenka, which was a surprisingly lopsided affair. She later found her way to the third round in Rome, as she beat Katerina Siniakova and Elina Svitolina before losing to Simona Halep in the third round.
In typical inconsistent fashion, Sloane Stephens plodded her way through the clay court season ahead of the French Open with few impressive outcomes. She lost in the second round of Charleston to Mona Barthel, lost to Serena Williams in the Madrid Open second round, and the opening round of the Rome Open. Most recently, she managed to reach the semi-final stage in Strasbourg, where she did not face a single player ranked above herself.
This is just the first time that these two fellow Americans will meet on the professional tour. While Stephens’ history is with Venus’ younger sister, it is quite possible that these two players could produce an interesting chemistry that could provide some entertaining on court. However, it is likely to be a competitive affair that leads to Wiliams’ victory.
Prediction: Venus Williams in Three Sets