US Open, 🇺🇸🍎🗽🚕 QF Preview + Prediction:
(16) 🇱🇻 Anastasija Sevastova vs 🇺🇸 Sloane Stephens
A huge opportunity presents itself for Anastasija Sevastova and Sloane Stephens on Tuesday when they do battle for a place at the semi-final stage at Flushing Meadows. Both would be unexpected semi-finalists. This will be the first ever meeting between Sevastova and Stephens, both head into this match in great form having knocked out top players on route to this stage of the event. Sevastova is fresh off eliminating Maria Sharapova in what was one of the biggest wins of her career, whilst Sloane Stephens has already beaten four quality opponents in New York. It will be interesting to see who steps up and takes this big opportunity, nerves will undoubtedly be a big factor.
Anastasija Sevastova achieved her biggest result at a Grand Slam at the U.S Open last year where she reached the quarter-final stage. 12 months later, the Latvian is back into the quarter-finals in New York. Sevastova moved through the first week of the tournament quite comfortably, claiming straight set wins over Carina Witthoeft, Kateryna Kozlova and Donna Vekic. The 16th seed’s biggest win came at the fourth round stage as she defeated Maria Sharapova 5-7 6-4 6-2. It was an impressive victory for Sevastova who stuck in the match and turned it into a physical battle. Sevastova ultimately outlasted a tiring Sharapova.
Sloane Stephens is into the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time since Wimbledon 2013. Stephens has done very well to reach the quarter-final stage given how difficult her draw has been. Stephens started the event with a straight set win over Roberta Vinci before eliminating the 11th seeded Dominika Cibulkova in a tough three set match. The American then went on to defeat an in-form Ashleigh Barty in straight sets before confirming her spot in the final 8 with a topsy-turvy 6-3 3-6 6-1 win over Julia Goerges. Stephens has been one of the form players throughout the U.S Open series and now seemingly has a legitimate chance to go all the way in New York.
In the first career meeting between the pair, I’d give the edge to Sloane Stephens. Sevastova is a tricky opponent and clearly likes to play on the big courts in New York. However, I think this is a good match-up for Stephens as her great movement and anticipation will help her handle the awkward shots thrown at her by the Latvian. Sloane has shown her ability to beat all different types of opponents. Stephens has more weapons from the baseline and a heavier serve. The crowd will also be on Sloane’s side and Sevastova has a record of flopping at the later stages of a big tournament. This match is Sloane’s to lose.