Keys 1.52, Stephens 2.90
Stephens won their only previous match. That was in March 2015 in Miami. She won in straight sets on a hard court.
Overall results this year favour Stephens. They have both won around 82% of hard court matches this year. Stephens’ ROI is higher. Their stats this tournament are remarkably similar. Service holds have the biggest difference with Keys holding 81% of her service games and Stephens holding 74% of hers.
Keys has dropped just 2 sets in her 6 matches. Vesnina and Svitolina put her under the most pressure with Svitolina pushing her to a third set tie break in the fourth round. In the last 2 rounds she came up against opponents with sky high confidence
. Kanepi could not have been expected to reach the quarter finals but had played some superb tennis. She had 3 break points against Keys but wasn’t able to take any of them. She was beaten in straight sets. Vandeweghe had beaten Radwanska, Safarova and world number 1 Pliskova but she managed to win just 3 games in her semi final with Keys.
Stephens has played above her normal levels in this tournament after finding some form quickly since her late start to the season. She reached the semi finals in her last 2 tournaments. She has had some tough matches en route to the final with just 2 straight sets wins. Her last 3 wins were in 3 sets. In the semi final Sevastova, one of the surprises of the tournament, pushed her to a third set tie break.
Things didn’t get easier for Stephens in the semi final as she was up against Venus Williams. Stephens easily took the opening set but Williams bounced back and in the end Stephens scraped through 7-5 in the deciding set.
We have some value on Stephens to take a set. She is having to work a lot harder for her service holds so I give Keys the edge for the title. Back Keys if she gets broken or loses set 1.
Update: Stephens won 6-3, 6-0.
Keys just didn’t handle the occasion well at all. She won less than half her points on serve and was broken 5 times. Stephens deserved the win on the day.