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French Open 2013: Marina Erakovic vs. Sloane Stephens Round 3 Preview
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Reads: 1,233, Comments: 1
Australian Open semfinalist Sloane Stephens could not back up her stunning victory over 15 times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in Melbourne as she failed to deliver the goods right after her success in Oz. The 20 year old lost in the second round of the Qatar Total Open in Doha and then was beaten by Sorana Cirstea of Romania in her opener in Dubai. Afterwards, she made a premature exit in round of 64 at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells where she was given a straight sets hammering by Urszula Radwanska of Poland.
Her woes continued on the dirt as well as she was knocked out by the rising Bethanie Mattek-Sands in her first match of the tournament. Her torrid run persisted at the Madrid Open too as she was bundled out in round 1 of the event when she was trounced by former top-5 Daniela Hantuchova inside the Magic Box in the Spanish capital. In her next tourney in Rome, though Sloane put up an improved performance, still that wasn’t good enough to overcome world no.2 Maria Sharapova who simply outplayed her 6-2, 6-1 in less than an hour.
The Coral Springs resident was then caught off guard by Shuai Peng of China in the quarterfinals of the Brussels Open – the last of the tournaments before Roland Garros. Nevertheless, she has seemed to be full of energy in her initial two rounds at the second Major of the year and has cruised through to a 3rd round meeting with the Aussie Marina Erakovic who herself has done a wonderful job by making it to the round of 32 in the City of Love and Lights.
Erakovic’s win over over Scotland’s Elena Baltacha was anticipated, but then she caused a minor upset when she ousted Dominika Cibulkova in a tight three setter in the round of 64. Besides that the Split native leads Stephens 1-0 in the head-to-head by virtue of winning the pair’s only clash fought on the hard-courts of Memphis in 2012 and that would surely bolster her chances versus the girl who is known as the Next Serena.
Still, if one has to pick someone as the favorite in the contest, then it has to be Stephens as the US citizen has finally picked up her game and will be quite eager to silence the critics with a clincical performance against Erakovic which would also prove to be an indication that she is very much back in her best form.
Pick: Stephens in three!
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