Rouen | Stephens takes WTA 250 honours in France

Sloane Stephens won the title at the inaugural Open Capfinances Rouen Métropole, the WTA 250 indoor clay-court tournament in France, when the 31-year-old defeated Magda Linette, 6-1 2-6 6-2, in Sunday’s final.

Magda played well, we've played a bunch of different times. She played really well in the second [set] and I just had to, kind of, figure it out in the third, which I did, which I was really happy about. A tough match, but I knew it was going to be tough from the beginning, so I was prepared for that. Sloane Stephens

It was the American’s first title since 2022, as well as her first on clay, with her most recent coming when she won the WTA 250 Abierto Akron Zapopan title in Guadalajara.

“Coming here was, kind of, a last-minute decision, so I’m really happy to be through and win another title,” Stephens said after her triumph. “It’s my first title indoors, I think, so that’s really nice and really cool, and just a really nice way to start off the clay-court swing.”

The 6th seed faced Linette, a former Australian Open semi-finalist from Poland, who has been ranked as high as 19 in the world but currently languishes at 48 after a patchy start to the season.

Stephens was the quicker out the blocks, breaking the Pole 3 times in the first set, closing out the opener with a backhand winner and taking a step closer to the trophy, but the match was far from done.

Linette showed incredible resilience to break the American twice in the second and force a decider, managing to swing the momentum her way after Stephens netted a volley that would have given her a 2-1 lead.

The 32-year old Pole took control of the set from there, racking up 5 games in a row to lead 5-1, and taking it 2 games later to level at a set all.

It was the first set Linette had won off of Stephens in their 4 career meetings, but, at the last, the American got herself back on track.


Champion Sloane Stephens poses with runner-up Magda Linette after the Rouen final

Facebook/Open Capfinances Rouen Métropole

A critical 4-deuce game at 1-1 in the third went her way without having to face a break point, and, having survived that tussle, Stephens took charge, earning a break for 3-1 after Linette sent a backhand miscue wide.

Stephens needed 6 chances to close out the final, losing her serve from 40-0 up at 5-1, then missing out on her next 2 championship points at 5-2, but the 2017 US Open champion held on and got her hands on the trophy after a final Linette backhand flew wide.

“Magda played well, we’ve played a bunch of different times,” Stephens said. “She played really well in the second [set] and I just had to, kind of, figure it out in the third, which I did, which I was really happy about.

“A tough match, but I knew it was going to be tough from the beginning, so I was prepared for that.”

Stephens put 81% of her first-serve points into play in the final, and won 62% of them, while she converted 6 of her 15 break points in the 2 hour 10 minute final to prevail in the tournament’s inaugural edition.

With Linette only managing to win 48% of points on her first serve, the key to the match was Stephens ability to convert those break points, while the Pole could only win 3 on the day.

Impressively, Stephens ended up losing just 2 sets all week, the first in the round of 32 in the match against fellow American Peyton Stearns, while she scored upset wins over Karolina Pliskova, Yuan Yue, and Caroline Garcia, all in straight sets.

She is now 4-0 against Linette, and the American also holds an 8-3 win-loss record in WTA singles finals, having now won 5 WTA 250 titles in her career, along with her Grand Slam title, the 2017 US Open, a WTA 1000 title in 2018 Miami, and the WTA 500 title in 2016 Charleston.

As a result of her run this week, Stephens, a former World No 3, rises 6 spots to No 33 in Monday’s rankings, and is set to play at the Mutua Madrid Open next week, where she will face Italy’s Martina Trevisan in the 1st-round.


Doubles champions Timea Babos & Irina Khromacheva, the No 2 seeds, captured the title with a win over the all-British pairing of Naiktha Bains & Maia Lumsden.

Instagram/Open Capfinances Rouen Métropole

Later, the doubles final wrapped up the tournament, in which Hungary’s Timea Babos & Irina Khromacheva from Russia, the No 2 seeds, captured the title with a 6-3 6-4 victory over the all-British pairing of Naiktha Bains & Maia Lumsden.

Babos & Khromacheva needed an hour and 16 minutes to prevail on Sunday, garnering fewer break points than their opponents, but saving 6 of 7 of them, while also converting 3 of the 6 they held.

Rouen marks the milestone 25th WTA doubles title for Babos, a former Doubles World No 1, as it is her first since she won 2020 Roland Garros with Kristina Mladenovic.

Meanwhile, this is Khromacheva’s 3rd WTA doubles title, and her first partnering Babos.




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