Home advantage has worked wonders for the American women this tournament and there is still the possibility of an all American semi finals with Madison Keys, Venus Williams and CoCo Vandeweghe all looking to progress along with Sloane Stephens to the final 4. Stephens will play Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova and is favoured to progress.
Watch the Stephens vs Sevastova Live Stream Here.
Having knocked out the second seed Simona Halep in round one, it looked like Maria Sharapova was set for a deep run. However, Sevastova had other ideas as she ground down the former champion in three sets, winning the decider 6-2 after dropping the opener. It was a clean performance for her, hitting 21 winners to 14 unforced errors while breaking the Sharapova serve on 5 of the 6 chances she had. “I couldn’t hit her off the court, that’s for sure, so I had to have a game plan. I had to play a lot of slice, mixing it up, forehand running, so that she moves to her forehand.” she said of her strategy for the match.
Like her fellow American Keys, Sloane has seen much of her season fall to injury but she has managed to peak at the same time. Back to back semi finals in Cincinnati and Toronto demonstrate the American is in some of the best form of her career with wins over potential semi final opponent Petra Kvitova amongst the standouts of her run this summer. Her draw has been far from simple with wins over former finalist Roberta Vinci, Dominika Cibulkova, Ashleigh Barty and Julia Goerges to make it this far. She bounced back well in the decider against Goerges, dropping just one game against the German in the final set.
Sloane will look to keep the strategy that saw her negate the power threat of Goerges in the previous round. “she’s a great player. I will obviously talk to my coach, just go out and play the game that I’ve been playing. Obviously tweak a few things here and there, but pretty much the same thing.” she said.
The home crowd should be in full voice for this one in the afternoon session and Sloane will be fairly confident of making her second slam semi final, the first coming in Melbourne 4 years ago.
Prediction – Sloane Stephens in straight sets