Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens gear up for the Atlanta Open Sunday Showdown

Monday, 20 May 2024 at 03:00
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Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens confirm their presence at the next Atlanta Open Sunday Showdown. The exhibition match featuring these former Grand Slam champions will take place on Sunday, July 21, marking the beginning of the final Atlanta Open.
The former world No. 1, Venus Williams, has endured four consecutive defeats on the Tour (0-2 in 2024) and will return to the court for the first time since the Miami Open two months ago, where she lost in the first round to Diana Shnaider (3-6, 3-6). Williams will face the 2017 US Open champion Stephens, who recently clinched the title at the Rouen Open, defeating Magda Linette in the final (6-1, 2-6, 6-2).

Luxury Farewell: Williams and Stephens in the last Sunday Showdown at Atlanta

Both players have participated in the Sunday Showdown in previous years. Williams played in its inaugural edition in 2017 against the former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard, while Stephens featured in 2021 against the former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters.
Williams, 43, is the most successful active player in terms of victories, with seven Grand Slam singles titles and 49 in total in her career, along with 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, four Olympic gold medals, and one silver. Williams also leads in Tour victories with 818, placing her sixth in history.
Facing her will be a formidable opponent, a Grand Slam champion at the 2017 US Open, who reached a career-high ranking of world No. 3. Stephens has not replicated her top-10 success since 2019 but has maintained consistency, hovering around the top-40.
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Williams secured her last victory in August 2023 at the Cincinnati Open, where she surprised world No. 17 Veronika Kudermetova with a 6-4, 7-5 win.
At 31, she is currently ranked world No. 35 and has just secured her eighth professional title at the Ruan Open. Stephens leads the head-to-head against Williams 2-0, although their last encounter was seven years ago, with Stephens winning in the US Open semi-finals 6-1, 0-6, 7-5.
“We are proud to announce that Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens will play in the final Sunday Showdown delivered by UPS,” said Peter Lebedevs, Atlanta Open tournament director. “Venus and Sloane are two beloved champions of our sport, and they will surely put on a great show for Atlanta tennis fans.”
This will be the last occasion for the exhibition, as tournament directors recently announced that this will be the final edition of the Atlanta Open: "The 2024 Atlanta Open will be a celebration of past champions and the great 15-year run of the tournament, giving us a chance to honour and celebrate the tremendous support we’ve received from the city, the tennis community, and local universities over the years.”
“We’re thankful for the wonderful memories we’ve made in Atlanta and are working to return in some capacity and bring professional tennis back to this great city," said Peter Lebedevs, the Atlanta Open tournament's director.

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