pick

For the first time in their careers, world No. 24 Jil Teichmann and world No. 64 Sloane Stephens will play one another. And the stakes are huge, as the winner will advance to the quarterfinals of the French Open. Teichmann was considered one of the sleepers to make a run in this event before the tournament, but ruling Stephens out would be a mistake. While it’s been a long time since the American has been a consistent force on the WTA Tour, she did make it to the final at Roland Garros back in 2018.

Teichmann had to really grind to earn a win over world No. 15 Victoria Azarenka in her last match, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5). It was a gutsy performance from Teichmann, but it’s fair to wonder whether or not that match will zap her energy heading into this meeting with Stephens. Having a day off to rest should help a lot, but Stephens needed only an hour and 36 minutes to beat world No. 97 Diane Parry in her last match. On the other hand, it took Teichmann three hours and 18 minutes to get through hers against Azarenka.

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Stephens is also a player that knows what it takes to get the job done at Grand Slams. In her career, the American is 80-38 in the 118 matches she has played in majors, while Teichmann is just 6-10 in her 16 matches on this stage. That means Stephens is going to have a level of comfort when she gets out on the dirt, even if she hasn’t been playing her best tennis in recent years. Meanwhile, Teichmann could have some serious nerves to deal with in this one, as this is the furthest she’s ever been in a major. She has also had some trouble closing out matches she’s favored to win in the past.

It should also be mentioned that Stephens is 21-11 against left-handed players in her career, so she shouldn’t be thrown off by Teichmann’s game. The Swiss southpaw likes to mix up her shots and keep her opponents guessing, and she can dial up some big shots when she needs to. However, Stephens has the speed to track down a lot of balls, and she should also have a real advantage in the power department. The American just needs to get some serves in and try to keep her unforced error count down. That’s probably easier said than done, but there’s just not a lot that separates these two players. For that reason, it’s hard not to back Stephens with such favorable odds.

The Pick: Stephens To Win (+160)