Sloane Stephens vs. Victoria Azarenka
|Date & Time||Friday August 31, 2018, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Victoria Azarenka and Sloane Stephens meet in the third round of the 2018 tennis US Open.
Victoria Azarenka is coming off a straight sets win over Daria Gavrilova that took 15 games to decide. In the victory, Azarenka won 68 percent of her first serve points and 33 percent of her second serve points. Azarenka got 79 percent of her first serves in play and won 60 percent of her total service points. Azarenka is still struggling with her second serve and her shotmaking at times, but she’s won four straight sets rather easily and has the confidence in her return. This match will be the true test to see just where Azarenka is with her overall game. Azarenka hopes to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the sixth time since 2015. Azarenka hasn’t been bounced before the fourth round of the US Open since 2011. Azarenka has won six of her last nine matches on hard court.
Sloane Stephens is coming off a straight sets win over Anhelina Kalinina that took 30 games to decide. In the victory, Stephens won 56 percent of her first serve points and 54 percent of her second serve points. Stephens simply grinded out a victory, as she had 42 unforced errors and found herself a set down. It wasn’t easy, but Stephens won 75 percent of her total service points in the third set and was able to use the American crowd for an extra boost. It has to feel good knowing Stephens can win a match despite playing very poor by her standards. Stephens hopes to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the fourth time in her last 12 appearances. Stephens also has a shot at her third fourth round appearance in the US Open. Stephens has won seven of her last nine matches on hard court.
These two have played five times and Azarenka won the first three and Stephens won the last two. The most recent meeting was in this years Miami Open, a match Stephens won in three sets.
Azarenka is still trying to find herself, so while she’s capable of winning these matches, she’s too up and down and that’s not going to fly against one of the top players in the world. Stephens won’t play nearly as bad as she did in her last contest, and she’s likely going to get a more favorable match at night.
Throw in the American crowd, and Stephens wins in two tight sets.