And then there were two at the Rogers Cup — the same two that met in the French Open final earlier this summer. There’s no doubt that Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens deserve to be playing for this premier title. They’ve both played excellent tennis throughout the tourney, having only dropped one combined set, which Simona lost in her first match in Montreal.
While it would’ve been nice to get both futures to the final for a stress-free Sunday, at least Simona came through. I will certainly hedge a piece of my Halep future (+650) after what I’ve seen from Sloane, but before we get to that, let’s take a quick look at the matchup.
>> Sign up for The Action Network’s daily newsletter to get the smartest conversation delivered into your inbox each morning.
Simona Halep (-175) vs. Sloane Stephens (+150) | O/U: 21
Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
H2H: Halep leads 6-2 (3-2 on hard courts)
Halep took down Ashleigh Barty (6-4, 6-1) behind a super impressive 84% first-serve percentage. She put Barty on the defensive on almost every point. While the Aussie is a nice defensive player, Halep always had the advantage, constructing points on her terms and dominating with her fierce backhand.
Stephens won a highly entertaining straight-sets affair over Elina Svitolina (6-3, 6-3). Sloane was crisp throughout the match and unleashed her vicious forehand past Elina when called upon. The American still hasn’t dropped a set in this tournament, seeking to become the first Rogers Cup champion to win without losing a set since compatriot Serena Williams did so in 2013.
Out of their previous eight matches, only their French Open final encounter back in June went three sets. Halep ultimately ran away with that final set after a competitive first two to secure her first major championship.
Halep has more tools in her arsenal on clay, which we touched on in a previous column. However, this matchup is much closer on a hard court in Montreal. Halep ultimately won that title at Roland Garros thanks to her superior net play and volleys, but I don’t think she’ll have as much success tomorrow with those tactics, especially with how well Sloane is firing her explosive forehand.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t hedge my Svitolina future live yesterday, but I won’t make that same mistake with Halep +650. Stephens has the power, movement and motivation (revenge) to beat the Romanian.
If both players play at the same level we saw yesterday, we should see an incredible final.
Future Hedge: Sloane Stephens +150 (two units)