In Depth

French Open final: Halep vs. Stephens predictions, start time and betting odds

World No.1 Simona Halep takes on US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the final at Roland-Garros

Simona Halep insists she will “chill” before Saturday’s French Open final against Sloane Stephens despite having previously been denied three chances of Grand Slam glory.

World No.1 Halep was defeated in the Roland-Garros final in 2014 and again last year but will have a chance of making it third time lucky in Paris when she faces Stephens on Court Philippe-Chatrier at 2pm. 

The Romanian also lost the 2018 Australian Open final, against Caroline Wozniacki, but she will have the support of tennis fans around the world willing her on to win a first career Grand Slam title.

Speaking to the media after her semi-final victory against Garbine Muguruza, Halep told RolandGarros.com: “Okay, let’s make a deal. I will play for the fans from all over the world, because I know that many are hoping me to win this Grand Slam finally. 

“I will put everything I have Saturday on the court. I will think that I will make many people happy. So maybe I will have enough power to win it.”

When asked about her previous Grand Slam final defeats, Halep told The New York Times: “I lost three times until now, and no one died, so it will be OK. But I will be, I think, more confident, because I have a lot of experience. But in tennis, you never know, so I will stay chill.”

After being asked again about her Grand Slam history, Halep smiled: “Can we change the subject? Let’s talk outside. It’s beautiful weather.”

Don’t write off Stephens

Halep is the bookies’ favourite to finally win a first Grand Slam and leads 5-2 in her head-to-head record against Stephens.

However, the American is the reigning US Open champion - so what’s the plan when she faces world No.1 Halep? Stephens said: “You have to go out there and get after it and make sure you play every point and try to execute your game plan as best as possible.”

Stephens’ victory in the 2017 US Open final and her form this year at Roland-Garros means she should not be considered the underdog, says Harry Floyd of LobAndSmash.com.

“Stephens is red hot right now,” says Floyd. “Of course, both she and Halep are having fantastic runs at the 2018 French Open, but Stephens in particular has been reinvigorated.

“This is the furthest she has ever reached at Roland-Garros. Plus, now that she has a Grand Slam win at her back, you cannot predict Halep to be the outright winner just yet.

“While the Romanian does have a slight edge throughout their careers, anything can happen in the French Open finals.”

French Open women’s final guide

Player profiles

Simona Halep

  • Age: 26 
  • Nationality: Romanian   
  • World ranking: No.1 
  • Career titles: 16 WTA; 6 ITF 
  • Grand Slam titles: 0

Sloane Stephens

  • Age: 25 
  • Nationality: American 
  • World ranking: No.10 
  • Career titles: 6 WTA; 1 ITF 
  • Grand Slam titles: 1 (US Open 2017)
When is the women’s singles final?

The final between Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens takes place on Saturday 9 June at Roland-Garros and starts at 2pm (UK time).

What TV channel is it on?

ITV 1 will show free-to-air coverage of the women’s final starting at 1.30pm. There will also be online coverage on the ITV Hub.

Predictions: who will win the women’s final?

George Bellshaw, Metro: “Halep arguably adapts best to players with big, heavy strokes. She has won her last four meetings with the American and emerged victorious [in] their two ties on clay. The Romanian has become more aggressive with age to add to the relentless defending that so often forces opponents into submission. She seems genuinely relaxed about her destiny, with the demons of the past exorcised. After such a long wait, it feels like her time. Prediction: Halep in two sets.”

Yesh Ginsburg, Last Word on Tennis: “What Halep did to Garbine Muguruza was not only unexpected, it was the most impressive performance we’ve seen from any tennis player this year. She is the better overall player than Stephens, and clay just widens the margin. Prediction: Halep in two sets.” 

Linda Ellis, Last Word on Tennis: “I am going with Sloane Stephens. Although Halep leads the head-to-head match-up, this is the final of a major. Stephens has shown her mental toughness in defeating close friend Madison Keys to win the US Open title in 2017. Stephens has now followed that up by once again defeating Keys to reach the final in Paris. Halep does not possess the power of Keys, and Stephens has shown she is one of the best movers in the game. Prediction: Stephens in three sets.”  

How they reached the French Open final

Halep’s route to the final

  • First round: 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 vs. Alison Riske 
  • Second round: 6-3, 6-1 vs. Taylor Townsend 
  • Third round: 7-5, 6-0 vs. Andrea Petkovic 
  • Fourth round: 6-2, 6-1 vs. Elise Mertens 
  • Quarter-final: 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 vs. Angelique Kerber 
  • Semi-final: 6-1, 6-4 vs. Garbine Muguruza

Stephens’s route to the final

  • First round: 6-2, 6-0 vs. Arantxa Rus 
  • Second round: 6-2, 6-2 vs. Magdalena Frech 
  • Third round: 4-6, 6-1, 8-6 vs. Camila Giorgi 
  • Fourth round: 6-2, 6-0 vs. Anett Kontaveit 
  • Quarter-final: 6-3, 6-1 vs. Daria Kasatkina 
  • Semi-final: 6-4, 6-4 vs. Madison Keys

Halep vs. Stephens betting odds

Latest best prices, as of 8 June.

Oddschecker

  • Halep to win: 4/9 
  • Stephens to win: 7/2

William Hill

  • Halep to win: 4/9 
  • Stephens to win: 15/9 
  • Halep to win in two sets: 23/20 
  • Halep to win in three sets: 29/10 
  • Stephens to win in two sets: 7/2 
  • Stephens to win in three sets: 9/2

Sky Bet

  • Halep to win: 4/9 
  • Stephens to win: 7/4 
  • Halep to win in two sets: 11/10 
  • Halep to win in three sets: 14/5 
  • Stephens to win in two sets: 4/1 
  • Stephens to win in three sets: 9/2

Paddy Power

  • Halep to win: 4/9 
  • Stephens to win: 7/4 
  • Halep to win in two sets: 11/10 
  • Halep to win in three sets: 11/4   
  • Stephens to win in two sets: 7/2 
  • Stephens to win in three sets: 9/2

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