2018 Montreal WTA Final Preview: Simona Halep vs Sloane Stephens

Montreal has been a fascinating tournament this week and we’re down to two players after five rounds of exciting tennis – it’s a rematch of this year’s French Open final as Sloane Stephens will try to exact revenge on Simona Halep who beat her a few months ago for the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen. Continue reading on for the match preview…

Montreal, Final

[1] Simona Halep (No.1) vs [3] Sloane Stephens (No.3)

Image result for halep montreal

Montreal is only Halep’s second tournament since winning her maiden Grand Slam title in Paris so it is pretty impressive how Halep has been able to rebound so quickly and not have a post-Slam slump. The Romanian has played four matches in three days due to the rain delays and even though she has struggled with some pain during her second round match, she has fought valiantly and has been showing why she is the World No.1 this week. After a tight tussle with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, she has breezed past the likes of Venus Williams, Caroline Garcia and Ash Barty to make it to her second Rogers Cup final.

Stephens will have a shot at revenge after an almost perfect route to the final this week. The American has not dropped a set against Francoise Abanda, Carla Suarez Navarro, Anastasija Sevastova and Elina Svitolina. While Svitolina seems like the only one that could cause troubles for the American on hard courts, the manner in which Stephens has beaten all these players is the most impressive aspect of her week. While there are some matches where she can struggle with her footwork and lack of intensity, her match highlights from Montreal certainly show that this has not been the case thus far.

Head to head: Halep leads the head to head 5-2, and has won their four recent meetings. As aforementioned above, their previous encounter was in the French Open final, where Halep recovered from a set and break down to take her maiden Grand Slam trophy.

Thoughts: While the Parisian clay courts and the support from the crowd might have given Halep a slight advantage in their past match-up, this time round there’ll be no advantages as the decently-paced hard courts are both suited to either player. Halep is probably the one feeling more fatigue, but her route to this stage has been tougher than Stephens. However, the American is always able to produce her best tennis at the latter end of a tournament and has a 6-1 record in finals. This one will probably be a tight and long affair just like last time round as both players have similar styles and are so good at defending their own court. On the fence as usual, but I’m slightly edging towards Halep who has been so mentally strong in all of her matches this week.

Final Prediction: Simona Halep d. Sloane Stephens in three sets

Thanks for reading! Check out my Montreal predictions here or at the top of the page!

 

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