Venus Williams vs. Sloane Stephens Preview
Where: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, New York City, NY
When: Thursday, September 7, 2017
TV Broadcast: ESPN
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Betting on Venus Williams (-160)
Continuing to represent the fabled Williams tennis clan is elder sister Venus, who came out on top against World No. 15 Petra Kvitova, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(2), in the quarterfinal round of the US Open.
Williams wasn’t at the top of her game, though, as she converted just three of her 11 break-point opportunities and lost 35-21 in winners. However, the 13th seed did commit just 29 unforced errors compared to 45 from Kvitova, and that was enough for her to advance in the tournament.
Given her impressive body of work throughout her career, Williams enters her semifinal clash against Sloane Stephens as the favorite. However, it’s worth noting that the 37-year-old needed three sets these past couple of US Open matches against top-25 opponents, so she might be regressing at the worst time.
Then again, Venus tends to shine under the bright lights of New York. She’s a two-time US Open champion who’s made it to the quarterfinal round of the event just in 2015. In addition, she’s reached the semifinal round in eight of her 18 lifetime trips to the Big Apple’s Grand Slam tourney.
Betting on Sloane Stephens (+130)
The changing of the WTA Tour guard may be at hand, as 158th-ranked Sloane Stephens stays alive in the US Open, having just defeated World No. 26 Anastasija Sevastova, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4).
That quarterfinal victory sent Stephens to just her second-career Grand Slam semifinal appearance, now tying her career-best finish from the 2013 Australian Open. Although the Florida native has had three matches that went full three-set distance in this year’s US Open, all three of those bouts were against top-50 opponents, including a second-round upset over World No. 4 Dominika Cibulkova.
And it’s not as if Stephens is just making her presence felt in Flushing. She’s actually made the semifinals in each of the last two hard-court tournaments from the previous month in Cincinnati and Toronto, with two victories over Kvitova and one against World No. 2 Angelique Kerber.
Further giving the 24-year-old fuel to her fire heading into Thursday’s match is that she came out victorious over Williams in their only head-to-head meeting to date at the 2015 French Open. That being said, don’t be shocked to find out that Stephens keeps her Cinderella run at the US Open going by beating a future Hall-of-Famer.
Stephens (-160) with another three-set upset to remember.
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