Simona Halep vs Sloane Stephens WTA Washington tennis tips, Predictions and Live Stream: Halep begins Washington campaign against fit-again Stephens

Leye Aduloju in WTA 1 Aug 2017
  • Simona Halep vs Sloane Stephens is live from Washington on Tuesday, 1 August from 1:50pm local time/ 6:50pm BST
  • Halep leads the head-to-head 3-2, but Stephens leads 2-1 on hard courts
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Washington at bet365 > live streaming > tennis
Simona Halep. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Simona Halep gets her hard court season underway on Tuesday when she takes on fellow wildcard, Sloane Stephens in the opening round of the Citi Open in Washington.

Simona Halep vs Sloane Stephens WTA Citi Open tennis is live from Washington on Tuesday, 1 August from 1:50pm local time/ 6:50pm BST
Watch and bet on tennis live from Washington at bet365 > live streaming > tennis



Halep is making her first ever appearance in Washington- her first tournament since losing to Johanna Konta in an epic quarter final at Wimbledon. That loss did not only cost the Romanian a semi-final spot at Wimbledon, it also cost her the number one ranking. Victory over Konta would have propelled the 25-year-old to the top of the world rankings.

It was the second time within a month that the Romanian would narrow miss out on rising to the top of the women’s game, having also failed to take the opportunity in the French Open final against Jelena Ostapenko. While Halep and her peers battle for honors in the hard court season, the race to finish the year as the top-ranked player will continue to be a major sub-plot. Current number one, Karolina Pliskova has got quite a few points to defend, but so does Halep, who won the Rogers Cup last year, reached the semi-finals in Cincinnati and Wuhan, and the quarter finals of the US Open.

Halep has done well to put herself in a position to challenge for the number one ranking, following a very slow start to the season. She was not firing on all cylinders at the start of the year, no thanks to a knee injury which hampered her progress. Her lowest point was losing to Shelby Rogers in the opening round of the Australian Open, while she was forced to pull out of the quarter finals in St. Petersburg. Halep would not be seen again until Indian Wells, where she fell in the third round to Kristina Mladenovic. Her season really kicked off with a quarter final run in Miami, while a semi-final in Stuttgart, final in Rome, and a successful defence of her Madrid title shot her up to the bookmakers’ favourite for the Roland Garros title. She came so close to justifying that tag, but she could not quite complete the job against Ostapenko in the Paris final.

A decent grass season comprised respectable quarter finals in Eastbourne and Wimbledon- and now, she seeks even further progress on the hard courts of the United States. Her quest begins against Stephens on Tuesday.


Formerly ranked as high as number eleven in the world, and seemingly destined for great things on the tour, Stephens has endured a terrible period during which she has played just one match since the Olympics last August. The American had been struggling with a foot injury that required surgery at the start of the year, but she finally made her return in Wimbledon, where she was beaten by fellow American, Alison Riske in the opening round.

Sloane Stephens. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Stephens’ inactivity has dragged her to a current ranking of 957, but the former Australian Open semi-finalist accepted a wildcard to take her place in the Washington main draw.

The 24-year-old returns to the scene of her first WTA triumph- back in 2015 when she defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova, Sam Stosur and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on her way to the title. That was swiftly followed by three ore titles in 2016- in Auckland, Acapulco and Charleston, but a very promising season was cut short by that foot injury later that year. The rebuilding process is already on. Ideally, she would have preferred an easier opener than taking on the number two player in the world, but the luck of the draw has not quite smiled on the American in Washington.

This is the sixth meeting between Halep and Stephens, with the Romanian shading the previous five 3-2. Unsurprisingly, Halep has won the clay court meetings- two of them- but Stephens holds a 2-1 advantage on hard courts. Jumping out of their previous matches is a 6-1 6-1 victory for the American at the 2013 Australian Open just a week after she won a set to love in Hobart. Stephens reached the semi-finals in Melbourne that year.

Stephens clearly has the power to unsettle Halep, but she may need a bit more time to rediscover her groove. A match against the super consistent Halep may have come too soon in her comeback. The world number two will test her movement, and patience, and should be too good for the American on the day.

Simona Halep vs Sloane Stephens is live from Washington on Tuesday, 1 August from 1:50pm local time/ 6:50pm BST


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Simona Halep vs Sloane Stephens WTA Washington tennis tips, Predictions and Live Stream: Halep begins Washington campaign against fit-again Stephens

Simona Halep gets her Washington campaign running against Sloane Stephens, who has only just returned from a foot injury. Will Halep get past the home favourite? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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