Sloane Stephens is perfectly placed for a second grand slam final in three tournaments going into Tuesday’s play. She will face Daria Kasatkina in the quarter-finals with a very winnable semi-final against Madison Keys or Yulia Putintseva on offer for the winner.
Sloane had struggled to build on her US Open title, racking up a number of losses outside of her home country following the victory. She didn’t exactly light up the European clay warmup events but has come into this tournament full of confidence. She fought her way to an 8-6 final set win over Camila Giorgi in round three before demolishing Anett Kontaveit 0 and 2 in the previous round. It was an especially impressive win given Kontaveit’s scalps in recent weeks – including Petra Kvitova in the previous round. Despite feeling it is her favourite surface, it is Sloane’s first quarter final at Roland Garros. “A lot of girls dream of making quarters or semis, and now that I’ve done that at all four Slams that’s pretty awesome. That was definitely a goal, and I’m glad to finally make it through to the quarterfinals here.”
Kasatkina made it three wins in a row over Caroline Wozniacki, winning the last three games of the match on Monday to finish off a rain-delayed match. The Dane was full of praise for her opponent after the match. “I think the slower the surface is, the better for her,” Wozniacki said. “She has very good hands and good angles and everything, so I think that suits her. I honestly didn’t think I played badly this morning. She didn’t miss one ball, and she was playing very close to the lines.”
It will be their first meeting on traditional clay but the pair also met at Indian Wells earlier in the year with Kasatkina coming out on top on that occasion. However, Sloane is developing a knack for performing in the big match and that could well see her to victory.
Prediction – Sloane Stephens in three sets