By Jake Davies
- Five Reasons why Sloane Stephens will win 2018 Roland Garros
PARIS, FRANCE – With the 2018 Roland Garros final coming up, we looked at five reasons why Sloane Stephens will lift the trophy in Saturday’s showpiece final.
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Stephens’ return to Grand Slam winning form
The tennis world shook when Sloane Stephens rallied her way towards a first Grand Slam title as she defeated Madison Keys comprehensively in that 2017 US Open final and many would argue that Sloane Stephens has played herself into Grand Slam winning form. She has barely dropped games en route to her second Grand Slam final, which included two bagel sets along the way and she is in a confident mood. When Stephens’ mental application and tennis game meshes together, it becomes a formidable combination and that is what we are seeing over the fortnight in Paris.
The final means more from a psychological standpoint which may favour Stephens
One reason that Stephens has a very big advantage in the 2018 Roland Garros final is that this match is very much going to be about the psychological feeling between both players and most of that lies with the way that Halep is feeling. We have seen Halep play breathtaking defensive yet accurate tennis that has put her in the position of winning majors, but psychologically she has fallen short in those two French Open finals she has played in. Stephens comes into this Grand Slam with no real mental baggage, while Halep is still making sure she puts right those near-misses in the past and that could prove a real difference-maker in this match.
The pressure is on Halep to finally deliver
The pressure really is on Halep to deliver. She is the more accomplished clay-courter, perhaps one of the most graceful movers on a clay court that there has ever been, but all the eyes of tennis fans will be watching not only how Halep strikes her forehands and backhands, but also how she deals with that pressure. Stephens will be feeling the pressure, as any normal human being would, but the Romanian will know that she has to deliver and knows that the longer the wait for a first Grand Slam title lingers, the harder it may be to get over that roadblock.
The American has an unblemished record in finals
One thing that cannot be overlooked when breaking down the games of both players is the record that Sloane Stephens not only has in major finals, but also how she has competed at WTA level. The American has been in six finals, with her first coming back in 2015, and she is yet to lose one final, which shows her big game mentality when approaching those kind of stages. This could be crucial in the build-up to facing Halep on Saturday.
Stephens has the game to match Halep from the baseline
Stephens’ athleticism from the back of the court is something that can cause Halep a lot of problems. In Halep’s semi-final match, Muguruza gave away a lot from the baseline in terms of keeping up the steady footwork from point to point. The big difference between playing Muguruza and coming up against Stephens is that Stephens can whip up the pace of the ball on both sides, but she also has unbelievable movement when she chooses to soak up pace from deep behind the baseline. Stephens is no one-trick pony and she may be able to frustrate Halep in that particular department.
POLL: Who win will the Roland Garros women’s singles title?
The Roland Garros Women’ Singles title will be at 3pm on Saturday (2pm BST).
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