Fixture: Serena Williams vs Sloane Stephens
Date: 5 September 2020
Tournament: US Open 2020
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $39,024,000
Match timing: Not before 2 pm EDT, 11.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Serena Williams vs Sloane Stephens preview
Two former champions, Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens, will go head-to-head in a highly anticipated third round match at the 2020 US Open on Saturday.
Williams will be looking at this match-up as a chance to put an end to her self-doubt. By her own admission, that is something she has struggled with a lot throughout her career - perhaps even more so in her pursuit of the elusive 24th Slam.
A solid win over an opponent of Sloane Stephens' quality should definitely help with the self-confidence, but it will not be an easy outing for the 23-time Major winner.
Stephens on her part would be viewing this year's US Open as a chance at redemption herself. The 2017 champion has had decent results in New York in the last couple of outings, but has failed to recreate the magic from three years ago.
Stephens struggled for consistency through most of the 2019 season, and doesn't have too much to show for this year either. She made first-round exits at six of her seven tournaments in 2020, and had no momentum coming into the US Open.
Stephens does seem to have found some sort of form in her first couple of matches here though, especially on the return - she has posted some fantastic numbers this week. It goes without saying that to hurt Williams on serve, Stephens will have to be at her sharpest in that department.
Serena Williams vs Sloane Stephens head-to-head
Serena Williams leads the head-to-head against Sloane Stephens by a 5-1 margin. The only time that the younger American has won a match against her more fancied opponent was in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open.
Serena Williams vs Sloane Stephens prediction
Sloane Stephens plays an impressive counter-punching game that can really hurt Serena Williams, especially if Williams is struggling to bring her own game to start with.
The older American does enter the match as the favorite to win, but she will have to find a way around Stephens' defence. Going for long baseline rallies will be like playing right into her opponent's wheelhouse.
Williams has tried to come to the net a lot more in recent matches, and her forecourt skills (as well as the serve) will be tested thoroughly. She has to take control of this match early, or Stephens will wear her down.
Prediction: Serena Williams to win in two tight sets.