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Stephens vs Sevastova WTA Montreal Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Can Stephens reach the Rogers Cup semi-finals for a second straight year?

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 10 Aug 2018
  • Sloane Stephens vs Anastasija Sevastova is live from Montreal on Friday, 10 August from 2:00pm local time/ 7:00pm BST
  • Stephens and Sevastova have split their two previous meetings
Sloane Stephens. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Reigning US Open champion, Sloane Stephens seeks consecutive Rogers Cup semi-finals when she takes on Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova in Montreal on Friday.

It was at the Rogers Cup that Stephen’s improbable run to last year’s US Open title began to build momentum, with the American, in just her third tournament since returning from an 11-month injury break, powered through a formidable draw before losing to Caroline Wozniacki in the last four.

Stephens had lost the first two matches in her comeback, exiting in the opening rounds at Wimbledon and Washington, but it didn’t take long at all for the American to regain her form. Once she shook off that initial rust, form came to her almost seamlessly. Amongst her victims in Toronto last season were Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber and Lucie Safarova, while she backed it up with another semifinal in Cincinnati, beating Safarova and Kvitova again, as well as Ekaterina Makarova and Julia Goerges before falling to Simona Halep in the last four.

What followed next was that sensational US Open triumph, but her career took another bizarre turn after New York, as she lost her next eight matches. That poor patch spilled into the new year, but she has since corrected that. Stephens hasn’t had the most consistent of seasons, but she has produced some huge results, claiming a maiden Premier Mandatory title in Miami, taking out fellow Grand Slam champions, Garbine Muguruza, Angelique Kerber, Victoria Azarenka and Jelena Ostapenko in the final four rounds- she doesn’t do easy draws, does she?

Stephens also reached the final of the French Open, where she fell to Simona Halep in three sets despite leading by a set and a break. The American has made just the one other quarter final this season, in Acapulco, while some of her more forgettable results include opening round losses at Wimbledon and the Australian Open. 

Now ranked No. 3 in the world, Stephens routed Francois Abanda 6-0 6-2 in her Montreal opener, before overcoming a late wobble to take out Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2 7-5 in the third round. The American looked set for a swift victory when she sped to a 6-2 5-1 lead, but Suarez Navarro battled back gamely, saving three match points 1-5 before winning four games in a row to even the second set. However, Stephens steadied the ship, taking the next two games to seal the win.

"I thought I had a little bit of a lapse, but I was happy to get back and win the last two games. Obviously you play a sport, you're playing against an opponent. She played a couple of good games, kind of threw me off. I was happy to get through in the end," Stephens said after the match.

"Maybe the old me would have kind of freaked out. I was kind of, like, 'Okay, it's fine, she's allowed to play well. Just kind of regroup.' I did that. I was happy with that."

Can she get past Anastasija Sevastova in Friday’s quarter finals?

Sevastova is competing at the Rogers Cup for just the second time having made her debut last season, when she beat Lauren Davis before falling to Naomi Osaka in the second round. 

Anastasija Sevastova. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
The Latvian has already beaten that mark this year, defeating Alexander Krunic, Monica Puig and Julia Goerges to move into the last eight. Sevastova sped past Krunic in the opening round, dropping just one game in the comprehensive dispatch, but she came through a completely contrasting duel with Monica Puig in the second round, recovering from a set down and a break down, saving two match points, before running away with the final set. Sevastova’s third-round victory over Julia Goerges wasn’t as dramatic, but she still had to fight back from 2-5 down in the second set, saving two set points, before completing a 6-3 7-6 victory.

The Latvian is seeking her fourth semi-final of the season, adding to her efforts in Brisbane, Charleston, Mallorca and Bucharest. She lost the final in Mallorca, but picked up her first title of the season in Bucharest. The 28-year-old has hovered around that top-20 ranking this season, peaking at No. 15, and not going below 22, and by virtue of this quarter final run in Montreal, she is bound to remain in and around that top 15 – top 20 region.

Sevastova and Stephens split their previous two meetings- Stephens defeated the Latvian in a third set tie break on her way to winning the US Open, but Sevastova got her revenge at the WTA Elite Trophy that same year, when Stephens was deep into that aforementioned post-US Open slump. Stephens is the more powerful of the two, even though her game is not entirely based on power, while Sevastova possesses wonderful variety, altering the pace and length of her strokes to keep her opponent off balance. I’ll lean towards Stephens’ for this one, with her mix of athleticism and power propelling her past Sevastova into a second straight Rogers Cup semi-final.

Sloane Stephens vs Anastasija Sevastova is live from Montreal on Friday, 10 August from 2:00pm local time/ 7:00pm BST

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Stephens vs Sevastova WTA Montreal Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Can Stephens reach the Rogers Cup semi-finals for a second straight year?

Sloane Stephens and Anastasija Sevastova go head-to-head on Friday in the Montreal quarter finals. Can Stephens make it back-to-back semis in Canada? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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