American No. 1 Sloane Stephens will continue the hunt for her second Grand Slam title in Melbourne as she faces the Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the fourth round of the Australian Open.
Watch & bet on Sloane Stephens v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova live with bet365 here* on Sunday, January 20. The Stephens v Pavlyuchenkova match will start not before 8:00 pm local time (10:00 am BST).
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Stephens Continues Her Superb Performance
Stephens, who has been seeded fifth for the tournament, has so far impressed the spectators with her brilliant tennis. She is yet to drop a set in Melbourne so far, having won all of her matches in straight sets.
Her third-round fixture by far was her most challenging one yet. She went up against the 31st seeded Croatian Petra Martic, whom she defeated 7-6(6), 7-6(5). The match lasted for two hours and it was an evenly matched game throughout. However, Stephens got the point when it mattered the most – in the two tie-breaks and now, she has made it to the second week in Melbourne.
The American didn’t have the best of start to the season but she has definitely made up for it in this competition. She soared into the top 10 last year after winning the Miami Masters and reaching the final at the Roland Garros and Rogers Cup. She eventually qualified for the WTA Finals and there too, Stephens had to settle for the runner-up trophy.
Pavlyuchenkova’s Second Best Run in Melbourne
The unseeded Russian was a quarterfinalist in last year’s Australian Open and this time around too, she has done well to reach the second-week action.
She delivered an upset early in the tournament by knocking out the ninth seed Kiki Bertens in the second round. It was a three-set affair that saw the Russian win the match with 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Pavlyuchenkova moved on to meet Aliaksandra Sasnovich next and she dispatched the young Belarusian 6-0, 6-3.
As for her performance last season, she won the singles title in Strasbourg after defeating Dominika Cibulkova in the final. She was also a quarterfinalist in the Kremlin Cup, WTA Wuhan, and Linz.
Stephens v Pavlyuchenkova Head to Head
The two players have met only twice so far on the WTA Tour. Stephens currently leads 2-0 and they last met in the first round of the China Open. The American won that match in three sets.
Stephens v Pavlyuchenkova – Who Will Win?
The two players are evenly matched for this fixture, making it a close one to call. While Stephens will start as the favourite here, she will be in for an epic battle against Pavlyuchenkova. Expect this one to last for three sets.
You can watch & bet on Sloane Stephens v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova live with bet365 here* on Sunday, January 20. The Stephens v Pavlyuchenkova match will start not before 8:00 pm local time (10:00 am BST).