2019 Madrid Open Semi-Finals: Sloane Stephens vs Kiki Bertens, Preview and Prediction
Neither has won a title this year, and would see this as an opportunity to end that drought. However, in recent times, it is the Dutch player who has looked impressive. She has especially looked in imperious form in this tournament.
Bertens is yet to lose a set after four matches, which included players of the calibre of second seed Petra Kvitova, former Grand slam champion Jelena Ostapenko and Anastasija Sevastova. She had an especially impressive victory against Petra Kvitova in the quarter final.
It is not just the fact that she won in straight sets, but the manner in which she won, which shows how confident she must be feeling in her abilities right now. She broke Kvitova five times and was broken only once. In the previous match against Sevastova too, she had broken her opponent five times, without being broken once.
But her opponent in the semi-final is a tough one. In fact, she has lost both her matches against Sloane Stephens thus far. Their only clay court match was way back in 2013 at the Rome Open, and their most recent match was at last year’s WTA finals. Though she lost both her matches, she took the American to a third set in both those matches.
On current form, she can certainly get the better of the American. But Sloane has a reputation of being at her very best in the later stages of a tournament. After two three set wins in her two previous rounds, she was at her ruthless best against Petra Martic in the quarter finals.
She was especially impressive on her serve. Stephens kept 88 percent of her first serves in, and won seventy-five percent of those points. She will need to continue that form against Bertens whose return game is one of the best on the WTA tour right now, if she can win a third straight match against her.
Prediction: Kiki Bertens to win in Three SetsPublished 10 May 2019, 08:24 IST