A intriguing match-up is scheduled to take place in the opening round of the Mutua Madrid Masters on Monday afternoon, as world No. 5 Simona Halep attempts to even the score with Julia Goerges, who defeated her back in 2009 to get the 1-0 lead in the head-to-head series.
The top ranked Romanian won the first six titles of her career last year in a breakout season. While she finished the 2013 season at a career high of No. 11, Halep would only get better this year as she made the quarterfinals of the Australian Open — her best result at a Grand Slam tournament — and won the Qatar Open.
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. She most recently withdrew from the Sony Open in Miami, ahead of her scheduled second round match-up against Australian qualifier Casey Dellacqua, citing a right toe injury
World No. 98 Julia Goerges recently reached the second round of the Australian Open, the semi-finals in Pattaya City and the second round in Acapulco. The start of her clay court season has not been the best, as she lost in opening round in Charleston and the second round in Stuttgart, which does not bode well for her chances against Halep on Monday.
This marks the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Goerges holding the 1-0 lead in the head-to-head series. Her sole victory took place in the Paris quarter-finals in 2009, which Goerges won 6-4 2-6 6-3. This will likely be a entirely different match-up, as the world No. 5 has come into her own this season, and playing well above her previous standards prior to early 2013. This will likely be a much more one-sided encounter, particularly if Halep shows up in top form.
Prediction: Simona Halep in Straight Sets