Stephens vs. Muguruza
|Date & Time||Monday March 26, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Garbine Muguruza and Sloane Stephens meet in the fourth round of the tennis 2018 Miami Open.
Garbine Muguruza is coming off a straight sets win over Christina McHale that took 15 games to decide. In the victory, Muguruza won 81 percent of her first serve points and 75 percent of her second serve points. Muguruza has had to work very little to get to this point, as she had a walkover against Amanda Anisimova and lost just three games in her last match. Muguruza was lights out with her serve in her recent match and won 55 percent of her return points. If that’s the Muguruza we’re going to see for the rest of the tournament, she’s a serious threat to win her second WTA Premier Mandatory tournament. Muguruza hopes to make the quarterfinals of the Miami Open for the first time in her career. Muguruza has made at least the quarters in three of her last five tournaments overall. Muguruza has won seven of her last 10 matches on hard court.
Sloane Stephens is coming off a three sets win over Monica Niculescu that took 26 games to decide. In the victory, Stephens won 62 percent of her first serve points and 47 percent of her second serve points. Stephens was running away with the third set before her opponent decided to retire, but she can certainly improve her game moving froward. Easy points were hard to come by for Stephens, and she’s won just 18 of 47 second serve points in her last two matches. Stephens must be sharper if she hopes to get her 10th career win over a top-10 player. Stephens looks to reach her second career Miami Open quarterfinal and her fifth ever WTA Premier Mandatory tournament quarterfinal for her career. Stephens has won five of her last seven matches on hard court.
These two have played once, which was in the 2015 Wuhan Open, a match Muguruza won in straight sets. The match took 14 games to be decided.
Stephens has shown she’s capable of taking her game to another level in big spots, and she has this dog to her that won’t give up. She’s worth a look if getting a good price. However, in terms of making a pick without released odds, you have to go with Muguruza. She’s not only the fresher player, but she’s been ridiculously good in her last few sets, the type of play few can match when she’s on. The lack of success on the second serve concerns me for Stephens.
This will be a tight match, but I have to back Muguruza.