Sloane Stephens and Simona Halep will meet in the fourth round of the 2014 French Open. These two players have met three times in the past and Stephens leads the head-to-head results, 2-1.
This is the third straight time Stephens has reached the fourth round in the French Open, but she’s never gotten passed it. Stephens has won all three of her matches in straight sets, including a surprisingly quick match over Ekaterina Makarova. Stephens is a lot like Serena Williams when it comes to sheer power and athleticism. She stays along the baseline a lot and relies on a strong forehand and quick feet to put her opponents away. However, Stephens’ inconsistency and sometimes ability to control her nerves are the reasons she hasn’t taken that next step.
Halep hasn’t even been tested yet, as she’s also won all three matches in straight sets and has done so extremely quickly. Her most impressive win so far came against Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor. The fourth round is as far as Halep has ever reached in the French Open, but she’s starting to play better in Grand Slams, which includes reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open this year. Like Stephens, Halep is a very athletic player, but she’s also extremely disciplined and makes very few errors that force her opponent to beat her. That’s certainly an advantage she has over Stephens.
Stephens has won the last two matches against Halep, which includes an Australian Open victory last year. However, Halep’s lone victory over Stephens came in their only match on clay back in 2012. While Halep is going to be the favorite in this match given her ranking and history, this is has a coming out party written all over it for Stephens. Many of the women’s top players are out of the tournament and Stephens certainly has the skill set to possibly win this thing if she can limit her errors.
Stephens has looked sharp early on in this tournament and Halep hasn’t been great in Grand Slams throughout her career.
Give me the American and the plus money.