Kicking off Day 2 at the Wuhan Open is a compelling contest between world No. 2 Simona Halep and Rising WTA star Garbine Muguruza. Their second round meeting will serve as their first ever encounter on the WTA tour, which only adds to the intrigue.
Romania’s Simona Halep may be coming off a poor conclusion to her US Open run, but that has not stopped her from compiling a career-best season on the tour. Halep achieved some of her best performances this year when she reached the quarter-final of the Australian Open, the final of the French open and the semi-final round of the Wimbledon Championships. She also won two titles this season at Doha and Bucharest, which has prompted her to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore. She will look to regain her top form ahead of the year-end championship in October.
World No. 22 Garbine Muguruza had witnessed a surge in her performances on the tour, particularly during the clay court portion of the season, where she made a deep run at the French Open. While she fell short during the grass court portion of the season, Muguruza went through a rollercoaster summer in the US Open Series, as she reache the third round in Stanford (lost to Kerber), the second round in Montreal (lost to Sharapova) and then fell in the opening round in Cincinnati to Annika Beck. She concluded that portion of the year with a first round loss to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni at the US Open.
Since then, Muguruza has managed to rebound successfully with a semi-final appearance in Tokyo and won her opening match in Wuhan against fellow Spaniard Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor. Muguruza needed three sets and over two hours of court time to secure the 4-6, 6-, 6-4 victory. She struck 6 aces, won 70% of her first service points and saved 5 of 9 break points she faced on serve.
This marks the first time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour and could make for an entertaining and unexpected contest. Muguruza has already had court time in Wuhan and Tokyo since the US Open, while Halep has remained off-court since her premature loss in New York.
Prediction: Simona Halep in Three Sets