Sensational Stephens sets up Halep final

Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens continued her impressive form at this year’s Roland Garros with a confident 6-4, 6-4 victory over fellow American Madison Keys.

The result earns the reigning US Open champion a meeting with World No 1 Simona Halep in Saturday’s final, and a chance to clinch a second Grand Slam trophy in three attempts.

Stephens has been so impressive in Paris, dropping just one set on the way to the final, that it’s hard to believe she went through a horror run of results not too long ago.

The American lost a slew of first-round matches in the aftermath of her sensational US Open victory and seemed to be in total freefall before her form steadily started to improve at the start of the year, culminating with her impressive win at the Miami Open in March.

Now, she once again looks like a world beater, and a player who can cause Halep plenty of problems in the final.

Against Keys on Friday, Stephens took full advantage of her opponent’s ill discipline.

While Keys fired far more winners during the match – 25 to Stephens’ eight – she also produced a whopping 39 unforced errors – 28 more than her opponent.

That kind of inconsistency was never going to be enough to stop Stephens, who held on to an early break in the third game to serve out the first set – though Keys could consider herself unlucky after the forehand winner from Stephens on break point was later revealed to be long by Hawkeye.

Stephens then had Keys on the back foot again with another break at the start of the second, while a third break a few games later handed her a 5-2 lead.

And though there was some brief drama when Keys conjured up a break of her own just as Stephens was serving for the match, it only served to delay the inevitable.

Still one break up, Stephens did not repeat her lapse of concentration in her next service game, clinching match point with a sumptuous backhand down the line.

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