It’s a match between the 25th-ranked Ons Jabeur and the world number 51 Sloane Stephens when they clash in the second round of the 2021 Madrid Open on Saturday, May 1. Get the live streaming options of this Sloane Stephens v Ons Jabeur match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Sloane Stephens v Ons Jabeur Head to Head
There have been two previous matches between Stephens and Jabeur with both having won one apiece. The first came at the 2018 Moscow Open, where Jabeur was a 6-3, 6-2 winner before Stephens registered a similar, 6-2, 6-3 win over the Tunisian in Miami in 2019.
Stephens Shrugs off the Kovinic Challenge
Signs of resurrection have been good from Stephens and her first round win over Danka Kovinic was another such indicator. Because while Kovinic is ranked lower on the charts, she had come into this competition on the back of a solid showing in Charleston where she reached the final recently.
For Stephens to then follow up her run in Charleston to send Kovinic packing 6-4, 6-1 augurs rather well for the American. The match lasted an hour and 23 minutes and saw Stephens break her opponent a whopping five times to claim her place in round two.
The two players exchanged breaks of serves in the first couple of games of the opening set, before Stephens broke Kovinic yet again in the fifth game to get the advantage. She frittered away a set-point on her opponent’s serve before serving it out on her own.
The second set was a lot easier as Stephens reeled off six games in a row to win the match after Kovinic had held her serve on the first.
Earlier this clay court swing, Stephens had registered wins over Xiyu Wang, Madison Keys and Ajla Tomljanovic to make it to the last eight.
Jabeur Also Drops Five Games to Shvedova
Yaroslava Shvedova is making some sort of a comeback on to the women’s tour and managed to stretch Jabeur for a while before the Tunisian came through in straight sets.
An early loss of serve didn’t bother Jabeur too much as she broke back twice in a row to take a 3-1 lead. A total of nine break-points over the next two games led to a further exchange of breaks, also pointing to the erratic nature of serving in the encounter but once Jabeur had held to love, she broke for the fourth time to pouch the set.
This poor serving continued at the start of the second set with both players unable to hold their serves to begin with but Jabeur slowly got back her serving rhythm – upping her first serve percentage to 59% and winning a lot more points off it.
A break in the eighth game then meant Jabeur served for the match at 5-3 and won it to 15.
She should go into this second round with an advantage but would need to do a lot better on her own serve.
Stephens v Jabeur Prediction and Tip
Jabeur is 4/9 to win this and while Stephens has shown signs of resurrection, the Tunisian player should be able to tame her challenge in this one.
Tip: Jabeur to win: 4/9 (bet365)