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Monterrey Open 2020: Leylah Fernandez vs Sloane Stephens, match preview and prediction

  • Can Stephens continue to rebuild against a talented opponent like Fernandez?
ANALYST
Preview
Modified 04 Mar 2020, 22:48 IST

Sloane Stephens scored the first win of 2020 in the first round of the tournament
Sloane Stephens scored the first win of 2020 in the first round of the tournament

Fifth seed Sloane Stephens overcame tough opposition in the opening round of the 2020 Monterrey Open to score her first match win of the new season.

But it will be a tough opponent in the second round as Stephens takes on another rising star in Wednesday's matchup in form of Canada's Leylah Fernandez.

And as much as Stephens would have liked for her first-round opponent Emma Navarro to have prepared her for what is to come in this match, Fernandez is a completely different proposition altogether.

Leylah Fernandez reached the finals of the Acapulco Open just last week.
Leylah Fernandez reached the finals of the Acapulco Open just last week.

The 17-year-old from Canada is a fine striker of the ball. She is not the most explosive, but has a great feel of the ball, always knowing what shot to hit from every position on the court.

Fernandez manages the spin really well and has used the power of her opponents against them on several occasions. Her court awareness and solid approach game have held her in good stead as well.

Against Stephens, however, she will have to be a little more proactive than she is used to being in especially in the longer rallies because, the longer the point stretches, the better shot the former US Open champion has at winning them.

Stephens
Stephens' new season got off to a disastrous start, with four back-to-back first-round exits.

The American is a very solid player from the back of the court and is more than capable of hitting big if given enough time on the ball. Fernandez then will have to be really looking forward to taking time away from her opponent.

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And luckily for her, the Canadian is really comfortable coming forward and has a really good volley and domineering presence despite her petite frame.

It will really come down to the simple question of being the aggressor in the match. The woman who can manage to take control of a few rallies early could ride high all the way to victory.

Prediction: Stephens to win in two tight sets

Published 04 Mar 2020, 22:48 IST
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