Sloane Stephens vs. Saisai Zheng
|Date & Time||Wednesday May 8, 2019, 11:30 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Sloane Stephens and Saisai Zheng meet in the third round of the 2019 tennis Madrid Open.
Sloane Stephens is coming off a three sets win over Victoria Azarenka that took 26 games to decide. In the victory, Stephens won 73 percent of her first serve points and 50 percent of her second serve points. Stephens won 65 percent of her total service points and converted on three of her eight break points. Stephens needed three sets to complete the task, but she was in control of the match for the most part and got 65 percent of her first serves in play. Stephens looked more like Stephens in the victory, and she should be able to build on that moving forward, as this has been an extremely frustrating start to the year for the American. Stephens has a chance to win three straight matches for the first time since the Australian Open. Stephens has won four of her last five matches on clay court.
Saisai Zheng is coming off a three sets win over Alize Cornet that took 27 games to decide. In the victory, Zheng won 49 percent of her first serve points and 63 percent of her second serve points. Zheng won 52 percent of her total service points and converted on eight of her 18 break points. Zheng really had issues with her serve despite getting 76 percent of her first serve in play, as she gave her opponent 13 break points. Zheng has to be better overall if she’s going to make this match competitive. Zheng has four career wins over top-10 players, but none of those wins have come since the 2017 Madrid Open. Zheng has won 10 of her last 12 matches on clay court.
These two have played once, which was a 2018 match in Beijing, a meeting Stephens won in straight sets. The match took 16 games to be decided.
Stephens still has some work to do to prove she’s back to playing at the level she’s capable of, but this is a perfect match for her to turn things up and get free points on the return. Zheng gets her first serve in play, but there’s nothing on it, and it’s led to very low winning percentages. A player like Stephens who can really tee off and take advantage of subpar serving, this is simply a bad matchup for Zheng if those issues continue.
I like Stephens in straight sets.