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Stephens vs Haddad Maia WTA Acapulco live streaming, preview and tips - Top seed Stephens faces Brazilian qualifier for quarter-final ticket

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 27 Feb 2019
  • Sloane Stephens vs Beatriz Haddad Maia is live from Acapulco at 4.00pm local time on Wednesday (10.00pm GMT)
  • First career meeting between the pair
Sloane Stephens (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Sloane Stephens continues her bid for a second Abierto Mexicano Telcel title in Acapulco on Wednesday when she takes on Brazilian qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia in the second round.

(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

World No. 4 and 2016 Acapulco champion Sloane Stephens aims for her first quarter-final of 2019 on Wednesday when she squares off against qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Arriving in Acapulco having not played a match since a fourth round Australian Open exit to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova last month, Stephens produced a clinical and dominant performance to east past Pauline Parmentier in straight sets in the first round on Tuesday. The American was barely troubled throughout the 69 minute encounter, winning 22 more points than Parmentier as she coasted to a 6-2 6-2 triumph, emulating her win over the Frenchwoman in Acapulco last year, where she also dropped just four games.

Stephens went on to lose in the quarter-finals at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel last year, which was her first appearance at the tournament since she was crowned champion after beating Dominika Cibulkova in the final in what was one of the matches of the 2016 season. Can the top seed repeat that effort and come away with the silverware again this week?

The 25-year-old has remained a constant presence around the top of the WTA rankings since her extraordinary maiden Grand Slam title triumph at the U.S. Open in 2017, which propelled her from outside the top 900 at the start of the summer to inside the top 20. Stephens broke into the top 10 early in 2019 after claiming her maiden Premier Mandatory title in Miami and hit a career-high mark of No. 3 as she advanced into her second major final at the French Open, losing a three-set final to Simona Halep.

Stephens went on to finish runner-up at the Rogers Cup in Canada and the season-ending WTA Finals Singapore, finishing a season inside the world’s top five for the first time. It hasn’t been the greatest start to 2019 for Stephens - she lost in the first round of Brisbane and the second round of Sydney before bowing out in the Round of 16 at the Australian Open to Pavlyuchenkova, but perhaps this is where the American kick-starts her campaign?

Beatriz Haddad Maia (Photo by DAVID GRAY/AFP/Getty Images)
Beatriz Haddad Maia is the woman standing in her way on Wednesday in the second round. The Brazilian also hadn’t played a match since departing Australia in January when she touched down in Acapulco, but she’s already won three encounters this week, qualifying for the main draw with victories over Kimberly Birrell and Giuliana Olmos before taking care of Irina Maria Bara 6-0 6-2 in a commanding opening round performance on Tuesday. It was Haddad Maia’s best performance of the season after she failed to qualify for Auckland and lost in the first round of the ITF event in Burnie - although she would have been satisfied with qualifying for the Australian Open and making the second round, going down to former champion Angelique Kerber.


Haddad Maia first made an impression in 2017 when she broke into the top 100 and ended the season at a career-high of No. 58 after making her first WTA final in Seoul and securing two ITF titles. Haddad Maia looked like she was going to continue her rise as she made the second round of the Australian Open and the third round of the Miami Open in the first quarter of 2018, but a back injury surfaced and sidelined her for the next few months. As a result, Haddad Maia’s ranking plummeted to outside the top 250 as she couldn’t defend her Seoul runner-up points and lost five matches in a row upon her return to tour, but she did manage to make it back into the top 200 after finishing runner-up at an $80k ITF event at the end of 2018. Now back up to No. 172, can the 22-year-old cause a major boilover on Wednesday?

It’s unlikely, but stranger things have happened. The pair have never met before, which favours Haddad Maia because surely she’s seen more of Stephens than the American’s seen of her. Stephens can also be prone to messy early round performances, but considering her ruthlessness in conquering Parmentier for the loss of just four games, she looks dialled in from the get-go this week. Haddad Maia has never beaten a top 10 player before, and she will have to play the match of her life to come close to Stephens in Acapulco.


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Stephens vs Haddad Maia WTA Acapulco live streaming, preview and tips - Top seed Stephens faces Brazilian qualifier for quarter-final ticket

Sloane Stephens continues her bid for a second Abierto Mexicano Telcel title in Acapulco on Wednesday when she takes on Brazilian qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia in the second round.

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