Eighth seed Sloane Stephens of United States will play World No.49 Saisai Zheng in the third round of the 2019 Madrid Open. The match will take place on Wednesday, May 8. The match will start no before 4:15pm local time (15:15 BST). You can find the Sloane Stephens v Saisai Zheng live streaming options, preview and prediction here.
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Sloane Stephens v Saisai Zheng Head to Head
Stephens and Zheng have met once before, at the 2018 China Open. The American won in straight sets.
Stephens Can Build On Azarenka Win
Sloane Stephens won a blockbuster second round match against Victoria Azarenka in a battle of two former Grand Slam champions. Despite dropping the second set, the American finished strongly, holding off an Azarenka comeback with conviction.
The American is yet advance past the third round in Madrid in her previous visits, but her victory over Azarenka bodes well for the remainder of this week. This is the also the first tournament that the former US Open champion has played in since announcing Sven Groeneveld as her new coach. The pair have gotten off to a positive start in the Spanish capital.
The 26-year-old reached the final of the French Open last year and will hope for a similar run in 2019 have fared poorly in the first quarter where she attained win-loss record 6-6 on hard courts without reaching a single quarterfinal on the surface. But on the back of last eight appearance in Charleston and a strong start in Madrid, maybe she could go all the way this time.
Zheng Seeking Another Top 10 Scalp
Saisai Zheng has enjoyed a less-trickier path to the third round than Stephens, but she still had to subdue tenacious Frenchwoman Alize Cornet in a demanding three-setter on Tuesday.
Zheng is not new when it comes to dishing out upsets against top-10 players. She has already registered wins against Kerber, Radwanska and Svitolina a few seasons ago. Her serve might be a slight worry after she was broken six times out of 13 by Cornet. A player of Stephens caliber will not be lenient.
Stephens v Zheng Predictions & Tips
Stephens will have this match on her racket. She is such a fantastic player when it comes to the art of counterpunching. When she is playing well, she is hard to stop. Zheng has had an easy time in the first couple of rounds and Stephens should have a comfortable afternoon.
Tip: Stephens to win in straight sets: 16/25 (888Sport)