• Heather Watson v Sloane Stephens
  • H2H: Watson leads 5-2 (incl. ITF)
CALIFORNIA, USA – Heather Watson takes on Sloane Stephens in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

 

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Heather Watson v Sloane Stephens | H2H: Watson leads 5-2 (incl. ITF)

On paper this looks like a match up to trouble the former US Open champion Sloane Stephens, as she faces British no. 2 Heather Watson.

 

H2H & Match Fundamentals

Heather Watson v Sloane Stephens H2H: Watson leads 5-2 (incl. ITF)
WTA Indian Wells Palm Springs, USA
Hard (O) Prize Money: $18,155
Second on Stadium 1, not before 12:30pm (8:30pm BST) Amazon Prime Video <– Sign up for trial

 

Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021 – Hard)

Embed from Getty Images
H2H: Heather Watson (WR 57) Sloane Stephens (WR 73)
Tournament Previous Best R2 (2014, 2016-2017) QF (2014)
1st Serve Return Points Won % 31.4 32.1
Return Points Won % 40.6 40.0
Break Point Conversion % 44.4 45.0
Break Points Saved % 52.7 55.4
Total Points Won % 48.2 47.7

 

It feels a little surprising that they are so close in stats. None of the stats are particularly strong, indicative of their rankings at the moment and the way their seasons have gone.

 

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Playing Styles & Prediction

It has been a tough year for the stalwart Brit, with wins and even back-to-back wins have not been plentiful except for her eun to the Birmingham semi-final – which has been her best result this year. Stephens had a tough start to the year, winless until Miami and she had a decent run of wins on the clay, but her return to the tour in Chicago saw her lose convincingly.

In terms of style, both can cover the court very well, with Watsons able to play aggressively and switch to defence. Stephens is very solid off both wings and both are equally comfortable at the net to finish off their points.

If both can play at their best it could be a a very athletic match, but while Watson could do with a win, Stephens has a little more momentum over the year, on paper at least.

Prediction: Stephens in three sets.

 

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