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French Open 2018: Saturday Roland-Garros Schedule and Bracket Predictions

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2018

TOPSHOT - Romania's Simona Halep returns the ball to Spain's Garbine Muguruza during their women's singles semi-final match on day twelve of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 7, 2018. (Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP)        (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)
CHRISTOPHE SIMON/Getty Images

World No. 1 Simona Halep will play in her fourth Grand Slam final on Saturday when she takes on American Sloane Stephens for the 2018 French Open title.

The Romanian has lost all three of her previous finals, including last year at Roland-Garros when she was shocked by the unseeded Jelena Ostapenko in three sets.

Stephens, on the other hand, has a 100 per cent record in major finals. Saturday's clash is only her second Grand Slam final, and she won her first at the U.S. Open last year.

Getting under way at 2 p.m. BST (9 a.m. ET), Halep versus Stephens could be a classic encounter between two players in fine form.

TOPSHOT - Sloane Stephens of the US returns the ball to Madison Keys the US during their women's singles semi-final match on day twelve of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 7, 2018. (Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP)
CHRISTOPHE SIMON/Getty Images

Halep, 26, comfortably has the edge over Stephens in their head-to-head having won five of the seven matches they have played against each other.

She also has a 100 per cent record against the 25-year-old on clay, most recently prevailing 6-4, 6-3 on her way to her first final at Roland-Garros in 2014.

Further adding to an argument for Halep finally breaking her Grand Slam duck on Saturday is the fact that she has beaten better players on her way to the 2018 French Open final.

With defeats of Elise Mertens (No. 16 seed), Angelique Kerber (No. 12) and a clinical semi-final victory over former champion Garbine Muguruza (No. 3), Halep has proved she is in top form.

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

Hugely impressive win for Simona Halep, who reaches her fourth Grand Slam final and maintains the #1 ranking with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over #3 Garbine Muguruza. Halep awaits Madison Keys or Sloane Stephens in the French Open final. #RG18

Stephens has hardly had an easy ride, and she has looked rock solid throughout the tournament, but the highest seed she has beaten so far is No. 13 Madison Keys, who she downed 6-4, 6-4 in the last four.

If they both produce their best tennis, Halep should still edge it.

But the psychological burden could play the key role, and Halep's poor Grand Slam final record will either spur her on to finally break the run or add crippling pressure that could scupper her chances. 

Prediction: Halep to beat Stephens in three sets to win the 2018 French Open.  

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