Sara Errani vs Sloane Stephens
WTA Parma 2021 May, 20th 2021.
Closing odds - money line
S. Errani vs S. Stephens Predictions (from BetzCenter's Experts)
There were no picks on this match by our experts
Battle of the Former Top Ten Players
Just two years ago, Sloane Stephens was ranked third in the world. This week, the American was down in 65th place and that's 26 places less than when 2021 began. All of which makes this run to the last eight of the Emilia-Romagna Open a big step forward. Stephens faces Sam Errani who is the world number 108 but eight years ago was fifth in the rankings.
Stephens won the US Open in 2017 and lost in the final of the French Open the following year. 2019 saw her reach the last eight of the French Open, so there is no doubting her ability on clay. The past year or so has not been good for her. The last six Grand Slams have seen her fail to get past the third round, with three first round exits.
This year has also been a struggle for the former world number three. Her first four tournaments of the year saw her lose in her first match. Back in America, Stehttps://www.betzcenter.com/teams-and-players/tennis/sloane-stephens/phens finally got her first win of the year. That came in Miami, coming from behind to beat then world number 120 Oceane Dodin. A straight sets loss to Amanda Anisimova followed in the next round.
Clay has produced a revival in form for the American. The last eight was reached in Charleston, incuding a win over Madison Keys, a repeat of the 2017 US Open final. Stephens made the last 32 in Madrid but Keys got her revenge in Rome winning a three-setter. That saw the world number 65 have a 6-9 record for the year coming into this tournament.
Catherine McNally was beaten in straight sets in round one. It was tougher in the second round as Stephens took on the fourth seeded Daria Kasatkina. The first set was lost 6-1 but Stephens fought back to win the next two to set up this last eight encounter with wild card Sara Errani. There have been two previous singles matches between the pair and the score is 1-1. They've been waiting nine years for another match but finally it has arrived.
Errani Trying to Regain Glory Days
The glory years for Sam Errani were between 2012 and 2015 making it to at least the last eight in seven Grand Slams. 2012 saw her lose to Maria Sharapova in the French Open final and a women's double title was won in Paris that year. The last six years haven't been so good though with a drugs suspension and loss of form.
Errani made it to the last 32 of the Australian Open this year. The Italian had to win five matches to get that far, including a win over Venus Williams. She was unable to maintain that good form and lost in her first match in the next four tournaments played. Three of those losses came against players ranked outside the top 100.
Her clay court season began in Bogata with two matches won before losing to Tamara Zidansek in the last eight. In the three tournaments that have followed, only Heather Watson has been beaten. This week has gone better for her though. The first round saw Errani need three sets to get past Ana Bogdan. That took her into a second round match against seventh seeded Sara Sorriba Tormo, who she'd beaten in Bogata. The first set was lost but Errani eventually got the better of her opponent to win in three sets. This is a fascinating match between two former top ten players. Stephens is the slight favourite in our opinion, a three setter looks very likely.