Sloane Stephens will play in the night session on Day 7 of the US Open, taking on Elise Mertens on Arthur Ashe Stadium for a place in the quarter finals. It’s the second time they will play in just under a month after Mertens won their first meeting back at Cincinnati in straight sets. Sloane’s quarter of the draw has held together pretty well so there will be a tough opponent awaiting the winner in the quarter finals – either Elina Svitolina or Anastasija Sevastova.
Watch the Stephens vs Mertens Live Stream Here.
Mertens has bounced back after nearly departing after her opener with Kurumi Nara. She beat Vera Lapko and Barbara Strycova in straight sets, the latter 6-3 7-6 win coming after she saved three set points to get into the second set tiebreak. The last month has been good to Mertens, who earned a career high ranking of 14 after quarter finals in Canada and Cincinnati. Should she win tonight, she has great opportunity to advance the ranking even further.
World No.3 Stephens is due a rankings fall if she doesn’t defend her title but it’s likely one more win would keep her solidly inside the top 10 at least. She continued her dominance against Victoria Azarenka in the previous round, making it three wins out of three against the former No.1 in 2018. Both players had opportunities but it was Stephens who played well on the big points, converting 5 of her 10 break point opportunities. “I started off well and I played a solid match. So I was happy with that. The fight was good throughout.” she said. “It was a few points in the second that really kind of changed the match.”
Sloane felt that she didn’t perform her best in the previous meeting against Mertens but suggests will be much better this time round. “My legs feel a lot better than they did on whatever day I played her, I’ll tell you that much. I’ll just go out and do my best and execute, try to execute the game plan my coach gives me and see what happens.” she said. The danger of her opponent is there for all to see but with a vocal night crowd behind her, it should be enough for Sloane to avenge the loss.
Prediction – Sloane Stephens in three sets