Halep vs. Stephens
|Date & Time||Saturday August 19, 2017, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Sloane Stephens and Simona Halep meet Saturday in the semifinal of the 2017 Cincinnati Masters.
Sloane Stephens is coming off a straight sets win over Julia Goerges that took 20 games to decide. In the victory, Stephens won 73 percent of her first serve points and 74 percent of her second serve points. Stephens continues to try to find her form since returning from foot surgery, and she’s on track to do that considering she’s won eight of her last nine matches. Stephens is coming off a match in which she won 73 percent of her service points and has now won eight of her last nine sets. While still very few matches under her belt, it’s safe to say Stephens is rather confident right now. Stephens has won four of her last five semifinal matches. Stephens hopes to make her fifth career final appearance and the first since last years Charleston Open. Stephens has won eight of her last nine matches on hard court.
Simona Halep is coming off a straight sets win over Johanna Konta that took 23 games to decide. In the victory, Halep won 71 percent of her first serve points and 38 percent of her second serve points. Halep has yet to drop a set this tournament and is coming off a match in which she won 48 percent of her return points. Halep has had a real up-and-down year based on what she’s done the last couple of seasons, but she’s starting to put together complete performances and has made at least the semifinals in six of her last nine events overall. Halep has split her last eight semifinal matches. Halep hopes to make her fourth final appearance this season and her 26th of her career. Halep has won eight of her last 10 matches on hard court.
These two have played six times and Halep has won four of those meetings. The most recent match was in this years Citi Cup, a match Halep won in straight sets. Stephens’ last win over Halep came in the 2013 Australian Open.
Stephens has had great success when playing in semifinal matches and will have the crowd behind her for this one. However, Halep is the safer bet given the amount of matches she has under her belt and the way she’s played this tournament overall. It’s all about which Halep shows up, as confidence is a big part of her game. I’m going to assume Halep is going to play within herself and not let a few misses take her out of her rhythm.
Close match, but Halep has the edge given her current form and the fact Stephens is still feeling things out since her return.