Angelique Kerber vs Sloane Stephens WTA Miami tennis Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Kerber battles resurgent US Open champion, Stephens for semi-final berth

Leye Aduloju in WTA 27 Mar 2018
  • Angelique Kerber vs Sloane Stephens is live from Miami on Tuesday, 27 March from 1:00pm local time/ 6:00pm BST
  • Stephens leads the head-to-head 3-1
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Miami online at Unibet > live streaming > tennis
Angelique Kerber. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

After scraping past Chinese qualifier, Yafan Wang on Monday, Angelique Kerber looks to get into the semi-finals of the Miami Open for the second time in three years when she takes on US Open champion, Sloane Stephens on Tuesday.

Angelique Kerber vs Sloane Stephens WTA Miami Open tennis is live from Miami on Tuesday, 27 March from 1:00pm local time/ 6:00pm BST 
Watch and bet on tennis live from Miami online at Unibet > live streaming > tennis

The resurgent Kerber has now reached the quarter finals or better in all six tournaments she has played this season, and victory over Stephens on Tuesday will take her into her fourth semi-final of the season. The two-time major winner was a titlist in her first event of the year in Sydney, while she made the semi-finals at the Australian Open and Dubai, and quarter finals in Doha and Indian Wells. It’s been a remarkable turnaround for the German in 2018- this time last year, she had made just one semi-final, and was struggling to recreate the form that had yielded two Grand Slam titles in the previous season, but she has been back to her best this year, playing with the confidence and conviction that took her to No. 1 in the world in 2016. 

After breezing past Johanna Larsson and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets in the opening couple of rounds in Miami, Kerber was expected to continue her smooth progress against Yafan Wang in the fourth round, but she ran into unforeseen problems against the Chinese qualifier; and had to dig very deep to emerge with the 6-7 7-6 6-3 win.

There were eight breaks of serve in a wildly fluctuating first set- Kerber got broken to love while serving for the set at 5-3, while Wang also failed to close it out at 6-5, missing three set points in the process. The 125th-ranked Chinese regrouped to dominate the tie break, sparing her more illustrious opponent just the one point. Both ladies exchanged breaks early and late in the second set, with Kerber once again broken while she attempted to serve it out. The tenth seed opened up a 3-0 lead in the tie break, with two mini-breaks, but Wang battled back to 5-5, leaving the former world number one two points from elimination. Kerber however squeezed out the next two points to level the match and force a decider. 

After an eventful couple of sets, the final set was a lot more straightforward, with Kerber securing the solitary break of serve in the fourth game before closing out the match to love after almost three hours.

The 30-year-old is into the quarter finals of the Miami Open for the fourth time in five years. Looking to deny her a spot in a second Miami semi-final is US Open champion, Sloane Stephens.


It’s great to see Stephens playing well, and winning matches again, following her post US Open slump. 

Sloane Stephens. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
The American sensationally claimed the Flushing Meadows title last September, defying the odds to win her first Grand Slam title in just her fifth tournament back after a lengthy injury lay-off, but she went on a wretched run of form after that, losing her next eight matches (WTA and Fed Cup combined).

Stephens has attributed that bad run to poor scheduling, explaining that her desperation to play till the rest of the year caused her to overplay, rather than take a break to recover from the physical and mental exertions of her US Open success. Stephens started 2018 with opening round losses in Sydney and the Australian Open, taking her losing streak to eight matches, but she finally snapped the run in Acapulco, where she made the quarter finals. She scored an impressive 6-1 7-5 victory over Victoria Azarenka at Indian Wells, and despite falling to Daria Kasatkina in the next round, there were obvious signs of improvement in her overall form relative to where she was at the back end of last season, and at the start of this year.

That has continued in Miami, where she opened with a cracking 6-1 6-3 victory over Ajla Tomljanovic, before taking out Monica Niculescu, who retired while trailing 4-0 in the final set, in the third round. Stephens scored a 6-3 6-4 victory over reigning Wimbledon champion, Garbine Muguruza in the third round, registering her first top-ten win since the US Open. Neither lady was particularly convincing at the start, with both breaking twice on their way to 3-3 in the opening set. That was where Stephens pulled away, winning the next three games to take the opener. The second set hinged on a run of three straight breaks at the midway point, after which Stephens emerged with the lead. The US Open champion never relinquished that advantage, going on to close out the win on her third match point after an hour and 30 minutes. She is into the quarter finals in Miami for just the second time, backing up her previous best effort in 2015. Victory on Tuesday will also take Stephens into the top ten for the first time in her career. (Kerber will also rejoin the top ten if she wins the match).

Stephens and Kerber meet for the fifth time on Tuesday, with the American enjoying a 3-1 lead over the former world number one. Kerber won their first meeting at Indian Wells back in 2012, but Stephens has responded by taking the last three- Indian Wells 2015, Charleston 2016 (via a retirement) and a crushing 6-2 6-2 victory in Toronto last year.

“For me it will be a challenge,” Kerber said. “I mean, the last time I lost against her. Now I just can try again to going out there, play my best, and trying my best to give all I can to win the match.”

Kerber wasn’t playing as well as she is now in that last meeting in Toronto- hence, expect this one to be a lot more competitive. Both ladies are wonderful athletes, and cover the court very well, but Stephens possesses the greater firepower, particularly on the forehand wing. She will have to get her offensive weapons firing on Tuesday, as not many can outlast Angelique Kerber in a slugfest when the German is playing well.

Angelique Kerber vs Sloane Stephens is live from Miami on Tuesday, 27 March from 1:00pm local time/ 6:00pm BST


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Angelique Kerber vs Sloane Stephens WTA Miami tennis Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Kerber battles resurgent US Open champion, Stephens for semi-final berth

Angelique Kerber and Sloane Stephens meet in the quarter finals of the Miami Open on Tuesday. Will the German take down the resurgent US Open champion? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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