World No. 5 Sloane Stephens has booked a third round clash with the Croatian Petra Martic at the Australian Open 2019.
Watch & bet on Sloane Stephens v Petra Martic live with bet365 here* on Friday, January 18. The Stephens v Martic match timings will be announced soon.
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Stephens Finds Her Rhythm in Melbourne
Sloane Stephens started her 2019 season on an uneventful note. She participated in a couple of competitions in Brisbane and Sydney but lost in the early rounds respectively to Johanna Konta and Yulia Putintseva.
However, since arriving in Melbourne, it appears that the American has left that poor start behind and is back to her winning ways. In the opening round, she defeated her compatriot Taylor Townsend with a convincing 6-4. 6-2 win. In the next round, she met the Hungarian player Timea Babos and there too, she produced a similar result.
It took Stephens just an hour and 37 minutes to defeat 6-3, 6-1, with the help of 15 winners. However, she had every opportunity to wrap it up earlier. Stephens had 23 break point opportunities but managed to convert only five of them.
The 25-year-old American was the runner-up at the last year’s French Open, Rogers Cup, and the WTA Finals in Singapore. She also won the Miami Open after defeating the likes of Garbine Muguruza, Angelique Kerber, and Victoria Azarenka.
Martic’s Positive Start to the Season
The 31st seed received a good boost right at the start of the season. She reached her career-high singles ranking as the World No. 31 and consequently, found herself as a seeded player at the Australian Open. Before coming to Melbourne, she played only in Auckland where she lost in the first round to Sofia Kenin.
However, she has turned that form around in the ongoing competition. In her opening match, she defeated Heather Watson in straight sets and repeated a similar feat against Marketa Vondrousova of Czech Republic in the next round.
As for her run in the previous season, she was a runner-up at the WTA Bucharest, where she lost to Anastasija Sevastova in the final. Apart from that, she also reached the quarterfinal in Budapest, Quebec City, and Tianjin.
Stephens v Martic Head to Head
The two players have met only once prior to this encounter and Stephens won that match in three sets. Courtesy of that win in the first round of the 2013 Cincinnati Masters, the American now leads 1-0 over Martic.
Stephens v Martic – Who Will Win?
Sloane Stephens will start this fixture as the favourite to move into the fourth round. However, Martic is a strong player and can very well give her opponent a tough battle. This one should be an interesting match to see.
You can watch & bet on Sloane Stephens v Petra Martic live with bet365 here on Friday, January 18.