Sloane Stephens vs Madison Keys Tennis Prediction
Sloane Stephens sealed her first French Open semifinal appearance by dismissing 14th seed Daria Kasatkina in yet another commanding win this fortnight (6-3 6-1). She wrapped up the match in 70 minutes hitting 17 winners to 18 unforced errors.
Apart from her third round tussle against Camila Giorgi (4-6 6-1 8-6), Stephens has not lost more than four games in any other round, defeating 25th seed Kontaveit (6-2 6-0), qualifier Frech (6-2 6-2) and lucky loser Rus (6-2 6-0) en route to the semifinal.
A year ago, Stephens was still on her foot surgery break, returning to the tour at Wimbledon. Playing at US Open as world #83, she became the second-lowest ranked slam champion as she defeated Venus Williams in semifinals and Madison Keys in the finals.
Stephens’ previous best result at Paris were consecutive fourth-round appearances during 2012-15. She is now bidding for her first final in Europe (hasn’t reached a final outside North America since 2016 Auckland) and the first final on red clay (won 2016 Charleston).
Madison Keys has confirmed a re-match of the 2017 US Open final with a close straight sets win over unseeded Yulia Putintseva, 7-6 6-4. The Kazakh served for the first set, but Keys took the match away by winning 31/37 on her first serve and hitting 30 winners.
Like Stephens, Keys’ previous best result here in Paris was also a fourth-round appearance, in 2016 (l. Bertens). In the warm-up events prior to Paris, she lost in first rounds at Stuttgart (Pavlyuchenkova) and Madrid (Sorribes Tormo) and withdrew from Rome (rib injury).
Keys, who went 1-4 on clay in the 2017 season, is yet to drop a set this fortnight after having met two Americans, Caroline Dolehide and Sachia Vickery, and couple of seeded opponents, 21st seed Naomi Osaka and 31st seed Mihaela Buzarnescu.
The 23-year-old is bidding for her first red clay final since 2016 Rome (l. S. Williams). She is heading into this match with a 3-5 record against top 10 players in slams, having won the last two such encounters (d. #8 Garcia and #4 Svitolina).
Apart from the 2017 US Open final, when Stephens did not allow Keys to win more than three games (6-3 6-0), the pair had another previous hard-court encounter in the US at 2015 Miami, which was also won by Stephens in straight sets, 6-4 6-2.
Tennis Prediction: Sloane Stephens