Following their quarter-final clash at Indian Wells last week, newly-crowned world No. 5 Simona Halep and Australian qualifier Casey Dellacqua will meet for a second time on the professional tour. Halep won the first encounter comfortably and will be looking to duplicate those efforts to begin her fortnight at the Sony Open. Check out the Halep vs Dellacqua Head to Head.
Simona Halep will look to continue her fine form this season with another strong showing at a Premier Mandatory event. After winning the title in Doha with a win over Kerber, Halep had a slight blunder in Dubai, where she lost in the opening round to French No. 1 Alize Cornet before arriving at Indian Wells. She would reach the semi-finals before losing to Radwanksa. With a 13-5 record this season, Halep is clearly in peak form and a force to be reckoned with on the WTA tour.
Australian qualifier Casey Dellacqua is coming off a fantastic fortnight at Indian Wells, where she advanced through to the quarter-final after Lauren Davis was forced to withdraw before their match because of a gastrointestinal illness. The quarter-final round is easily the biggest stage that Dellacqua has been to on the WTA Tour but she would lose to her upcoming opponent Simona Halep at that stage of the tournament. Having been ranked world number 130 last year, Dellacqua has moved to number 56 and performing close to the levels that got her into the top 40 in 2008.
She began her week in Miami with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Stefanie Voegele.
This marks the second time these two competitors meet on the professional tour, with their last match-up taking place a week ago at the previous Premier Mandatory event at Indian Wells. The win was a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 victory for Halep, who moved on to the semi-final round of the event. This will likely be another relatively straightforward win for the rising Romanian, as she campaigns for yet another title this season.
Prediction: Simona Halep in Straight Sets