They have previously met 3 times. Stephens leads 2-1. Their last match was on clay in Charleston in April 2016. Stephens led 6-2, 3-0 when Kerber retired. Stephens won on a hard court in Indian Wells in March 2015 in 2 sets. Kerber’s win was in 2012, also in Indian Wells and she won in 3 sets.
Before this week Stephens had not won a match since Wimbledon 2016. She didn’t even win a set in that run of losses. She came back from losing the
opening set to Putintseva in the first round and took advantage of a poor serving performance from kvitova in the last round. She also won that match in 3 sets. Kvitova had her problems but it was a good win.
Kerber played well to beat Vekic in 2 tight sets. She was broken once from 2 break points. She reached the semi final last year losing out to Halep in 3 sets.
I think Stephens’ confidence must have had a boost this week and she will be competitive. Slight chance of 3 sets. Back Kerber if she goes a break behind.