World number 38 Veronika Kudermetova will take on USA’s Sloane Stephens, who is ranked 57th in women’s tennis in the quarterfinal round of the 2021 Charleston Open on Friday, April 9. Get the live streaming options of this Veronika Kudermetova v Sloane Stephens match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Veronika Kudermetova v Sloane Stephens Head to Head
There have been no previous matches between Kudermetova and Stephens before this quarterfinal encounter in Charleston.
Kudermetova Makes it Three Straight-Setters in a Row
The draw can be deemed to have been kind to Kudermetova but the manner in which she has played and dominated her opponents so far is an indicator of the kind of form she has been in. The Russian, who had earlier shut out Desirae Krawczyk and Emma Navvaro in the first two rounds of this tournament in straight sets, wasted no time in cruising past Kurumi Nara in the third.
Kudermetova was on court for only an hour and 12 minutes to crush the Japanese player’s hopes 6-0, 6-3.
She was off the blocks rather quickly, refusing to give Nara an opportunity once she had gotten past her serve in a rather long first game. In a game which had seven deuces on Nara’s serve, Kudermetova finally broke the 162nd-ranked player and then repeated it twice more to clinch the set.
Nara fought better in the second set but it was only enough for her to take it to 2-2 after which Kudermetova took control yet again. She won six of the next seven games to clinch the set and the match.
Kudermetova’s first big test comes now as she takes on an in-form Stephens in a bid to make it to her first ever clay court semifinal.
Stephens Showing Stunning Form
It’s been a while since we used a headline like that for Stephens. Because since making it to the 2018 French Open final, her form has dipped and drastically at that.
Take for instance, this very season, when Stephens began with a 1-5 win-loss record leading into this tournament. Last year, Stephens won a grand total of four main draw matches. And even in 2019 when she looked the part, her best result consisted of a quarterfinal appearance at the French Open but a 10-13 win-loss on hard court surface.
However, the 2016 finalist here at the Charleston Open has now exhibited signs that she could be back, with three successive straight-set wins and against some tough opposition too.
Madison Keys was the expected favourite in the second round but Stephens had crushed her 6-4, 6-4 and she then cruised past Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 6-4 to seal her quarterfinal berth.
Can she now take down the 2021 Abu Dhabi finalist?
Kudermetova v Stephens Prediction and Tip
Kudermetova starts off as a favourite at 8/11 (bet365) but that’s to do with her better consistency than Stephens. Because the way Stephens has played all tournament, if she can find that rhythm early in this encounter, she could nudge past her Russian opponent.
Tip: Stephens to win: 11/10 (bet365)