2018 finalist Sloane Stephans will play former World No. 10 Carla Suarez Navarro in the first round of the 2021 French Open on Monday, May 31. Get the live streaming options of this Sloane Stephens v Carla Suarez Navarro match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Sloane Stephens v Carla Suarez Navarro Head to Head
Sloane Stephens leads Carla Suarez Navarro 3-0 in their head-to-head. All those matches were decided in straight sets in the American’s favor, with the last of those wins coming in the 2018 season on the hardcourts of Montreal. However, Monday’s match will be their first meeting on clay.
Stephens is A Threat on Clay
Sloane Stephens’ jaw-dropping decline has seen her lose her top 50 ranking. She even left the top 60 in mid-May and occupied her lowest ranking in nearly a decade. But after putting together a decent semifinal run at the Emilia-Romagna open, she enters the French Open ranked 58 in the world.
Stephens struggled immensely to find her best tennis at the start of 2021, losing in the first round of all three tournaments in Melbourne including the first Grand Slam of the year. A return to Monterrey could not lift her fortunes as she lost to World No. 149 Kristina Kucova in the first round yet again.
Although the American snapped her losing streak at the Miami Open, she lost in the subsequent round. The danger for Stephens is that most of her 10 defeats this year have been so convincing, and have been detrimental to her confidence.
Her clay court season has lifted her spirits, starting on the green clay of Charleston where she reached the quarterfinals. And aside from the aforementioned semifinal in Parma, she did not make any significant inroads the WTA 1000 tournaments in Madrid and Rome.
Cancer-free Suarez Navarro Makes Emotional Return
Suarez Navarro will make her much-anticipated return to professional tennis after admitting she had been cured of cancer.
The Spaniard, who is a winner of two WTA singles titles, said last September that she was diagnosed with early-stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma and need to go for immediate chemotherapy treatment.
She hit the practice courts in December last year despite having second thoughts on her career. The 32-year-old wanted to quit the sport altogether, but felt she had not bid a proper farewell particularly in pandemic year which wiped nearly half the tennis calendar.
Roland Garros has given her the best moments of her career, and who could argue? She is a two-time quarterfinalist, the first of those coming in 2008 when she achieved the feat as a qualifier.
Stephens v Suarez Navarro Prediction and Tip
Sloane Stephens has hit a purple patch and tends to produce some of her best tennis on these parts. This will certainly be a rollercoaster moment for the American against an oponent who has just won the biggest battle of her life.