By Ros Satar, in Paris

  • We crunch the numbers between Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens as they bid to win the Roland Garros Women’s singles title
PARIS, FRANCE – There will be a new champion crowned in Court Philippe Chatrier on Saturday for the women’s singles title, but who of Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens will be triumphant?

 

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Head to Head

Simona Halep Sloane Stephens
5 2

On paper this match-up should go all the way for Simona Halep. The Romanian is currently on a four-match winning streak against the reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens and it all started back in 2014 when Halep beat her on the way to reaching her first ever Slam final here at Roland Garros back in 2014.

Advantage: Halep

 

Titles History

Halep Stephens
Titles (2018) 16 (1) 6 (1)
Slams 0 1

While Halep has been more prolific in winning hardware throughout her career, Stephens has an impressive winning record in her career and has yet to lose a final, and more importantly she raced to her first Slam title with none of the angst that Halep has had to experience.

All the expectation will be on Halep as she is in her fourth Grand Slam final, her third Roland Garros final, her second straight final here at the French Open, and her second this year. You have to think that she will get over the line at some stage, but maybe the smallest advantage lies at the moment with Stephens who does not have anything like the expectation on her shoulders.

Advantage: Stephens

 

Year to Date/Career W/L Record

Halep Stephens
All surfaces W/L 34-6 / 315-146 21-8 / 180-120
Clay-court 15-3 / 108-42 12-4 / 51-34

Halep has been pretty consistent this year, and perhaps just has the edges on the clay this year over Stephens, even allowing for both if them having been pretty solid ove the entire clay court season.

Advantage: Halep

 

Match Stats 2018

Halep Stephens
Tie-Breaks 2-3 3-5
Deciding sets 12-2 6-3

 

Tie-breaks

Halep has not been as efficient when taken to a tie-break this year, but Stephens even worse so.

Deciding Sets

Halep has been the far more dogged when taken to a decider and has had the legs to see it through to the end more successfully than Stephens. Even though none of their previous encounters have gone to three sets, you wold have to give a slight edge to Halep, the longer they stay out there.

Advantage: Halep

 

Tournament

Serve/Return

Stephens has been very strong behind her serve and has looked good on her returns. It has been a little less the case for Halep, who has maybe been a little more erratic when it comes to winners versus unforced errors whereas Stephens has looked pretty consistent the whole way through the tournament.

Advantage: Halep

 

What they had to say

Stephens is giving nothing away – no discussions about Halep’s playing style, or what she would expect to do in the match-up but there is an easy air of confidence about someone who has yet to lose any final she has been in.

She said in her pre-final press conference: “[It is] just another good opportunity. Obviously a final is always super special, super important. I’m happy to be here. Glad that I was able to compete the last two weeks very well and end up in another final. Just going to take it in stride and just enjoy it and go out and compete.

“Obviously when you have confidence, you can do anything. But I think when you’re calm and you’re just relaxed, and you don’t panic, and you just stay steady, you allow yourself to work through obstacles and adversity or anything that might happen on the court that you were not prepared for.

“So, for me staying calm is the most important thing. And then being able to take advantage of the confidence that you do have when you’re playing deep into a slam is super key.

“I think I’m pretty calm on the court all the time, I’d say. I don’t get too up, too down. But I think that it has helped me in finals, but it’s not something I really focus on. I just try to stay calm and play my game.”

Halep has fielded all these questions before, but there seems to be a difference in her over the past 12 months, which saw her gain the World No. 1 ranking and more importantly hold on to it.

She said: “I think is the same pleasure, the same happiness that I am in this position again. It’s a very special moment. And to be able to play two finals in a row at this tournament means a lot for me. As you all know, it’s my favourite Grand Slam. I feel like home here. It’s nice to face another big challenge

“For sure, I’m a little bit different because I have more experience. I’m more relaxed about this situation. But, you know, you never know. Every match is different, and I cannot expect anything for tomorrow.

“I just expect myself to give everything I have and to try to play my best tennis. It’s nice that in 12 months I have played one more final in Melbourne. So, I feel good. I feel great in this position. Hopefully tomorrow I will be better than previous ones+

“Doesn’t matter the result. So, I have just to go there, to try to play my best tennis, try to fight for every ball. And in the end, we will see who is going to win.”

 

POLL: Who will win the Roland Garros women’s singles title?

 

The Roland Garros women’s singles final will be played on Saturday at 3pm (2pm BST).

 

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