Sloane Stephens v Simona Halep: Preview, stats & betting tips for French Open final
We preview the French Open women’s singles final and give you everything you need to know ahead of Sloane Stephen’s intriguing clash with Simona Halep.
There were one or two question marks over Simona Halep’s form coming into the French Open. She had failed to make any real impression in any of her warm-up tournaments in clay court season.
She was twice beaten in the quarter-finals, in Stuttgart and then Madrid, and then absolutely dismantled in the final of the Italian Open by Elina Svitolina.
However, her form at Roland Garros has blown those doubts clear out of the water.
After losing her very first set of the tournament to Alison Riske, only Angelique Kerber has been able to take a set from her, and the Romanian was in especially brutal form against Garbine Muguruza in the semi-finals.
Stephens’ French Open run has seemingly come from absolutely nowhere, though. In fact, before Paris she hadn’t even played a quarter-final on clay yet this year.
She did, however, win the Miami Open, so she is clearly in some kind of form and her confidence is sure to be high.
Head to head
Halep has certainly had the best of their head to head over the years, winning five of their seven clashes.
Perhaps even more ominously for Stephens, the Romanian has bested her in both of their matches on clay, both times in straight sets.
They have met once before at Roland Garros, in 2014, when Halep eased to a 6-4 6-3 win.
Stephens hasn’t actually beaten Halep for five years now. What a good time it would be for the American to end that particular hoodoo.
What they’ve said
Sloane Stephens: “She’s won plenty of tournaments. She’s number one in the world for a reason.
“I think that we’ll just have to go out and compete. Somebody’s going to win. Someone has to win. Someone has to lose.
“Just go out, give it your all, and whoever wins, wins.”
Simona Halep: “I will try my best and hopefully I will be better than last year.
“I’m happy that I can have another chance.
“So I lost three times until now and no one died, so it will be okay I think I will be more confident, because I have a lot of experience. But in tennis, you never know, so I will stay chill.
“I know that she’s a strong opponent. I will play my game against her. I expect nothing. I just want to go there and try to keep my tactic and keep my positive things every second.
“It’s always a special moment to qualify in the final of a Grand Slam. It’s a great moment. It’s the best moment in your career, because the Grand Slams are the most important tournaments.
“I feel happy. I feel good. I feel that everything I have done until now, the work that I put after Melbourne and everything together, it worked very well, and that’s why I’m here today.”
Halep hasn’t always been the best starter in matches in Roland Garros, losing opening sets twice already against Riske and Kerber.
Stephens meanwhile has lost just one set all tournament, so the 6/4 on her to win the opening set in the final with Bet365 is good value.
You can turn that into 11/2 with Bet365 if you back Halep to go on to win the match following an early set back.
Of course, should Stephens take the first set, it will be the first time she has ever won a set against Halep in five years, so 888.com‘s 23/20 on Halep to win 2-0 is also worth a look.
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