Last year’s losing finalist Sloane Stephens continues her hunt to go one better on Wednesday morning, facing Sara Sorribes Tormo for a spot in the third round. The American entered last year’s tournament just inside the top 10 and has held a spot there ever since but it is at risk if she does not have another strong run this year.
Sorribes Tormo booked her spot in round two in a back and forth win over Alison Van Uytvanck. She will have been disappointed to have found herself in a third set from 6-1 3-1 up but held her nerve in the decider to advance to the second round in Paris for the first time. The Spaniard does not have many notable wins to her name but has competed admirably against some of the tour’s best players – including taking a set from No.1 Naomi Osaka in Madrid.
Stephens wasn’t at her best against Misaki Doi in round one but did enough at key moments to oust the Japanese in a 6-3 7-6 win. “It’s the first round, and everyone can be nervous, anyone can win, an underdog can beat the No. 1 seed, that’s how it is. So I think, yeah, it’s a little nerve-wracking, but I think most of the time, at least for me, once I get through it, I don’t feel those butterflies anymore.” she said afterwards. The American will have been confident after a Madrid semi final but may be disappointed with her Rome loss to Johanna Konta, even if the Brit did go on to make the final.
Many of Stephens losses have come to unheralded opponents this year but she hasn’t suffered such a fate to Sorribes Tormo yet. The pair played in Charleston but Stephens was a winning in straight sets, picking up two tiebreaks to move on.
Prediction – Sloane Stephens in straight sets