Abierto Akron Zapopan: Emma Raducanu on course for potential Sloane Stephens re-match

Emma Raducanu, Sloane Stephens

Emma Raducanu could face former US Open champion Sloane Stephens at the Abierto Akron Zapopan in a rematch of their Australian Open encounter earlier this year. 

Both players are competing at the WTA 250 event in Guadalajara, with Raducanu seeded first and Stephens sixth. 

The pair met one another in Melbourne last month at the first major of the year, where it was the Brit who triumphed in a three-set thriller. 

Raducanu was subsequently knocked out in the second round by Danka Kovinic and the teenager hasn’t played a competitive match since then. 

Instead, the 19-year-old has seemingly been hard at work and recently posted a video of her lifting weights in training. 

The reigning US Open champion faces Australia’s Daria Saville in the first round tomorrow. The Australian has been ranked as high as 20th but is now 426th in the world. 

Emma Raducanu

Meanwhile, Stephens also took a break following her defeat at Melbourne and will face Czech player Brenda Fruhvirtova in the opening round. 

Stephens has enjoyed success in Mexico before, having won the Mexican Open back in 2016. 

If Raducanu wins her opening encounter, she’ll set up a meeting with either Zhu Lin of China or a qualifier. A match against Stephens could then await in the quarter-final. 

Fourth seed Camila Osorio and eighth seed Zheng Qinwin are the other seeded players in the top half of the draw, and may potentially meet Stephens or Raducanu in the last four. 

Sloane Stephens is a former US Open champion

On the other side of the draw, US star Madison Keys is the highest-ranked player and faces France’s Harmony Tan in her opener. 

Keys has been in outstanding form so far this year –– winning the Adelaide International last month and reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open. 

Her recent run of results has seen her climb to 29th in the world rankings and the American could rise back into the world’s top 25 if she wins in Guadalajara. 

Similarly, Raducanu also has the chance to boost her ranking significantly if she wins the title and could potentially climb into the world’s top 10. 

Madison Keys

The Brit will have to rely on other results elsewhere going her way, however, as there is also a WTA 1000 event taking place this week in Qatar. 

Aryna Sabalenka is the top-ranked player in the competition, ahead of French Open champion Barbora Krejčíková and Spain’s Paula Badosa.

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