Citi Open Preview – Louisa Chirico v Sloane Stephens

I think I need to apologise to Louisa Chirico after writing her off in my preview of her match against Great Britain’s Heather Watson and she ended up beating Watson comfortably and then defeating the 5th seed Alize Cornet in three sets and standing in her way of a place in the next round is fellow American Sloane Stephens.

This is where the wildcard system works so well on the tour as players who don’t get a chance to qualify for the main draw via their ranking get a chance to showcase with a wildcard and are suddenly the headline maker at a tournament. I still think there is a flaw with the wildcard system as some players pick up an awful lot yearly without really earning it and should be done on results and not just because the tournament is played in your country.

Sloane will be a tough opponent for Louisa however it could depend on what Sloane Stephens turns up. Sometimes I think Sloane beats herself on a tennis court, she plays an explosive game at the back of the court and if it isn’t at 100% then it’s a style which can generate a lot errors and ends up losing matches she should be winning. Sloane is still only 22 but had a lot of success earlier on in her career and this year has been a bit like a comeback year for her and has reappointed her old coach Nick Saviano but results have gone a bit quiet recently with her being unseeded for the tournament.

Before the tournament I’ve got to be honest I never heard of Louisa Chirico before but watching her this week I have been impressed. She was very calm against Watson and controlled rallies on the baseline throughout the match and was even better against Alize Cornet to fight to win in three sets. I do think Sloane is a contender for the title however could we be set for another upset?


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