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2019 French Open Quarter Final: Sloane Stephens vs Johanna Konta, Preview and Prediction

ANALYST
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740   //    03 Jun 2019, 10:49 IST

2019 French Open - Day Eight
2019 French Open - Day Eight

Last year’s finalist Sloane Stephens takes on a resurgent Johanna Konta in the French Open 2019 quarter finals.

Surprisingly, the two had never met on the WTA tour before this year, but they have faced each other twice this season, and Konta has won both those matches. What is possibly even more surprising is that of those two wins, one came at the Rome Masters on clay, a surface traditionally considered the Brit’s least favourite.

In fact, Konta has been a surprising revelation on clay this year. She may not have won a title on clay, but has reached the finals of two tournaments, the Morocco Open and the Rome Masters. She seems to have put behind the ghosts of her previous clay court failures and looks a much more confident player on the surface.

She has won three out of her four matches in straight sets at Roland Garros, with only one match against Laura Davis going to three sets. Her win against the only seeded player she has faced so far, Donna Vekic, was quite impressive. She gave away only six games in that match.

She will need to bring her new found clay court expertise to her quarter final match against her next opponent – the seventh seed Sloane Stephens. The American may not have had a great year thus far, but she is considered a great clay court player, with a particularly impressive return game, suited to the T on clay surfaces.

Stephens also has the reputation of being an unstoppable force in the later stages of a tournament. With a first French Open title in sight, she will be doubly motivated to go one step further than last time, where she lost the title clash to Simona Halep after winning the first set.

Her performance in this tournament so far has been very similar to Konta’s. She too has won all her matches in straight sets except one, and like the Brit, has had to play only one seeded player, Garbine Muguruza thus far. However, more experience at this level makes the American a slight favourite against the Brit. In all likelihood, she will be third time lucky against Konta this year.

Prediction: Sloane Stephens to win in Three Sets

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