Pliskova vs. Stephens
|Date & Time||Wednesday May 9, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova meet in the third round of the 2018 tennis Madrid Masters.
Sloane Stephens is coming off a straight sets win over Samantha Stosur that took 16 games to decide. In the victory, Stephens won 78 percent of her first serve points and 60 percent of her second serve points. Stephens lost just 10 total service points and broke four times, a forumla that makes her a serious contender if she can repeat such performance. Stephens has dropped a combined nine games in her last two matches and when you consider her lack of recent playing time on clay, that’s quite impressive. Stephens was serving out of her mind in her second round victory, which is quite encouraging for the young American. Stephens hopes to make the quarterfinals of a Premier Mandatory for the fourth time in her career and the second time this year. Stephens has won six of her last nine matches on clay court.
Karolina Pliskova is coming off a three sets win over Victoria Azarenka that took 27 games to decide. In the victory, Pliskova won 69 percent of her first serve points and 43 percent of her second serve points. Pliskova won a grueling three set match despite winning just 61 percent of her service points and having eight double faults. Pliskova has to play cleaner tennis and use her power game to her advantage if she’s going to be successful in this match here. Those service numbers aren’t what you’re used to seeing from Pliskova. Pliskova has a chance to make the quarterfinals of the Madrid Masters for the first time in her career. Pliskova has won nine of her last 11 matches on clay court.
These two have played two times and Stephens has won both meetings. The most recent match was in Beijing of 2016, a match Stephens won in straight sets. The other match was in the 2012 Wimbledon.
Stephens beat Pliskova in both meetings, and that was before Stephens became Stephens, a confident, complete and grand slam winning player. You also have to like that Stephens beat Pliskova on hard court. If you can beat a power player who relies on a heavy serve, you can beat them on a slow clay court.
I like Stephens to advance.