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Stephens vs Svitolina tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Defending Rogers Cup champion and world no. 3 face off for the first time in four years

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 11 Aug 2018
  • Sloane Stephens faces Elina Svitolina in the semifinals of the Coupe Rogers on Saturday
  • Stephens vs Svitolina is live from Montreal on Saturday at 6pm local/11pm BST
Sloane Stephens (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Defending champion Elina Svitolina takes on the in-form US Open champion Sloane Stephens, with a place in the final of the 2018 Coupe Rogers on the line in Montreal.


Elina Svitolina is out to make back-to-back WTA Montreal finals, but she will have to get past world no. 3 Sloane Stephens, who hasn’t dropped a set all week, to do so. 

Stephens plays against Svitolina at the 2014 Australian Open (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)
Stephens was a semifinalist at the Rogers Cup 12 months ago when it was held in Toronto, despite being ranked outside the top 900 at the time, having only just returned from an 11-month layoff imposed by a serious ankle injury. What happened next – Stephens’ semifinal run in Cincinnati and then her storming run to a maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open despite being ranked a lowly world no. 83 – is history.

Stephens’ title defense in New York is very much looming and only a couple of weeks away now, but the American has cemented her place inside the top 10 – and now top five – firmly, thanks to her Miami Open title and runner-up finish at the French Open. Now 25, it’s become increasingly clear that Stephens is developing into a truly formidable player – if she can get past the first match of a tournament. The American’s record is still sprinkled with first-round defeats, like the one she suffered at the hands of Donna Vekic at Wimbledon, but she has been on absolutely tremendous form in Montreal where she has yet to drop a set, never looking in danger as she opened her campaign against wildcard Francoise Abanda 6-0, 6-2 before beating Carla Suarez Navarro (a qualifier, but only because she forgot to enter the main draw) 6-2, 7-5. Against Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova, who had managed to pull off a big comeback win against Monica Puig in the previous round, Stephens was once again absolutely solid and delightful, racing to a 5-0 lead and never looking back despite dropping serve on her way to a 6-2, 6-2 victory. 

‘I thought I played well today. Good conditions. I mean, I don't know. Just thought I played well. She didn't play bad. Just sometimes days like that that are lopsided,’ Stephens said after the match.

Stephens is really becoming one of the most intimidating opponents in women’s tennis once she gets on a roll – she is on a three-match winning streak in semifinals, with her last defeat after reaching the final four coming to Simona Halep in the Cincinnati semifinals almost a year ago – and comes into the semifinals with plenty of energy, having dropped just 13 games in three matches and finishing her quarterfinal around six hours earlier than her opponent started hers on Friday.

But Elina Svitolina is not about to let this title go without a fight. The Ukrainian has become over the last couple of years an exceptionally consistent performer at Premier-5 level, winning a trio of Premer-5 titles in 2017 – Dubai, Rome and the Rogers Cup in Toronto – and successfully defending Rome and Dubai (this year a Premier rather than Premier-5) in 2018 as well as returning to the semifinals in Montreal.

Elina Svitolina  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Svitolina, who is trying to rebound from a disappointing stretch which saw her beaten in the third rounds of the French Open and Birmingham and the first round of Wimbledon, must have cursed the draw gods when she saw that her opening opponent in Montreal was Mihaela Buzarnescu, the player who knocked her out of Roland Garros and Birmingham (and who came in on a hot streak after winning San Jose). The two split sets and were in the midst of a hard-fought third set when Buzarnescu rolled her ankle and was forced to retire. 

Svitolina’s sportsmanship during that incident was exemplary and her tennis in subsequent matches has been very nearly exemplary as well, handling Johanna Konta quite comfortably – coming back from 2-5 down in the second set – 6-3, 6-4 before exacting some revenge on Elise Mertens for the Belgian’s victory over her in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, coming back from 0-4 down to win 7-5, 6-3.

‘I think [Mertens] started pretty well,’ Svitolina said afterwards. ‘She was striking the ball and everything was going in for her. I just had to accept and move from there. I was just trying to stay longer in that set. I think it really helped me to get back my rhythm, and then I was just going more and more for my shots. I think this was the key.’

This promises to be an intriguing semifinal, not least because it is the first meeting between Svitolina and Stephens for four years. The two played twice that year, Stephens winning at the Australian Open and Svitolina in Charleston, but have not met since and obviously both have become very different players in the meantime, meeting again as top-10 players.

‘Having not played them in four years, we're obviously both different players. Everyone is pretty close,’ Stephens said. ‘At this point when it gets to the semifinals of a tournament, everyone is good. Everyone's ranking is high. You just got to go out and compete.’

Stephens vs Svitolina semifinal tennis is live from Montreal on Saturday at 6pm local/11am BST

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Stephens vs Svitolina tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Defending Rogers Cup champion and world no. 3 face off for the first time in four years

Sloane Stephens vs Elina Svitolina live streaming, preview and predictions for the Rogers Cup Montreal semifinal match on Saturday 11 August 2018: US Open champion Stephens has yet to drop a set in Montreal, but she hasn’t played Svitolina since 2014

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