Sloane Stephens relishing Roland Garros showdown


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Sloane Stephens is relishing the prospect of winning a second Grand Slam title as she prepares to face Simona Halep in the French Open final on Saturday.

The 25-year-old American booked her place with a 6-4 6-4 victory over compatriot Madison Keys on Thursday in a repeat of the 2017 US Open final, a match Stephens also won in straight sets.

The number 10 seed, who had previously never been beyond the fourth round at Roland Garros, was delighted to reach a second Grand Slam final although she admits it was difficult to progress at the expense of Keys.

She said: “It’s always hard playing someone from your country and your friend. I was pleased to get through that and play some good tennis.”

Stephens’ reward for reaching the final will be a clash with world number one Halep, who will be looking to win her maiden Grand Slam title after being a three-time beaten finalist in the past, including twice at the French Open.

Halep is priced at 1.40 to win the match while Stephens is available at 2.75.

Despite being seen as the outsider, the American is remaining upbeat on her chances of claiming the biggest title on clay.

“This is one of my favourite tournaments. I’ve got another great opportunity on Saturday and I’m really looking forward to it,” she added.

Stephens has only won two of her previous seven meetings with Halep, with her last success over the Romanian coming at the Australian Open in 2013.

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