Fixture: Ons Jabeur vs Sloane Stephens
Date: 1 May 2021
Tournament: Mutua Madrid Open 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 32)
Venue: Madrid, Spain
Category: WTA 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €2,549,105
Match timing: Approx. 2.30 pm local time, 6 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Ons Jabeur vs Sloane Stephens preview
Ons Jabeur opened her 2021 Mutua Madrid Open campaign with a straightforward win over Kazakhstan's Yaroslova Shvedova on Thursday. Jabeur's reward is a second-round clash with former Grand Slam champion Sloane Stephens, who beat Danka Kovinic in her opener.
Stephens struggled mightily to find her best tennis at the start of 2021. Having made a bunch of early exits through the Australian swing, she chose to miss the tournaments in the Middle East.
However, the American has managed a decent start to the clay season. She put together a quarterfinal run in Charleston, and has followed that up by registering a fine win over the in-form Kovinic here in Madrid.
The 28-year-old will now be hopeful on building on these positive results and go deeper in the draw.
Ons Jabeur vs Sloane Stephens head-to-head
Ons Jabeur and Sloane Stephens have split their prior two meetings, so their current head-to-head stands at a 1-1 deadlock. While the Tunisian took their opening encounter in 2018, Stephens managed to pull one back at the 2019 Miami Open.
Ons Jabeur vs Sloane Stephens prediction
Ons Jabeur has played some solid tennis throughout the season so far, and will enter this contest as the favorite on paper. That said, she will be expecting a tough battle from a seasoned campaigner like Sloane Stephens.
Stephens has had some big results on the red dirt over the years, including a final appearance at Roland Garros. The American definitely has the game to cause an upset or two.
Stephens plays a solid baseline game and isn't likely to give away too many points in the form of unforced errors. It will, therefore, be up to Jabeur to try and use her signature variety to keep her opponent from settling in.
The match is likely to witness two contrasting styles of play, with plenty of long rallies. But if Jabeur can manage to keep her unforced errors in check, she should be able to fend off Stephens' challenge eventually.
Prediction: Ons Jabeur to win in three sets.