By Ros Satar
- Madison Keys  v Sloane Stephens for the US Open Women’s Title
- Five reasons why Sloane Stephens will beat Madison Keys for the US Open title
NEW YORK, USA – Perhaps we are are seeing the future of American women’s tennis and we are on course for a new champion to lift the title – Five reasons why that champion will be Sloane Stephens.
Triumph over adversity
While both players have had huge issues with injury throughout this year, Sloane Stephens was only able to really start hitting again in May this year. To come back from that to not only make two semi-finals on her way to the US Open, but to battle through Venus Williams (who has made two Slam finals alone this year) shows a maturity, determination and grit that was perhaps missing in her approach in her younger days.
Movement is the key to beating Keys
Madison Keys will look to play super aggressive first strike tennis, and Stephens will need to be as sharp as she has been all tournament, and trust in her movement to knock Keys off kilter. Stephens, like many a solid counter-puncher, will force players out of position to play that extra ball, and that will be the key to her success – keep Keys on the move.
Skills at the net could be a game-changer
We have touched on the fact that Stephens is a solid all-court player, but as well as her own aggressive style of play, she can come forward and is more than competent at the net. If she is allowed to take charge of the points, Keys can expect to do a lot of running as Stephens can turn her defence to attack and is looking supremely fit at the moment
The difference Kamau Murray has made to Stephens
Stephen’s coach Kamau Murray has been the architect of her comeback and made his own comeback after suffering his own health-scare with a mini-stroke. He has really helped shift Stephens from the almost flighty personality on (and indeed off) court to a more mature and level headed on court.
He remains (largely) calm and grounded and that has had a real effect on Stephens’ game. His structured approach has really brought that level of maturity to her game and she has also been spending a lot of time at Murray’s own training facility working with the children he coaches, which has added to her perspective and approach.
14 out of 16 matches gives you confidence
Stephens has looked impressive and claimed some hefty scalps since her comeback including Petra Kvitova (twice), Angelique Kerber and of course two-time Slam finalist in 2017, Venus Williams on her way into the final. Winning gives you confidence, and also holding a pretty impressing win over Keys in their only meeting in Miami a couple of years ago in a comfortable straight sets win, she holds a tiny little edge that could make all the difference
POLL – Click to vote if Sloane Stephens is your pick for the US Open 2017 Women’s Title
The US Open Women’s Singles final takes place on Saturday, at 4pm (9pm BST).
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