After completing undoubtedly her best season on the professional tour, Simona Halep is hungry to add to her accomplishments and with solid performances at all tournaments this season. She will begin her year at the Shenzhen Open, where she will contest an opening round contest against Germany’s Annika Beck. Halep leads the head-to-head series 2-1.
Halep took part in another breakthrough season in 2014, as she followed up on her gradual rise the previous year with several remarkable accomplishments. The Romanian reached her first Grand Slam final at the French Open, reached the final of WTA Finals, and ended her season ranked below Serena Williams and Sharapova at world No. 3.
“The stadium is big and very nice,” Halep said of the 4,000-seat Centre Court at the Longgang Tennis Centre. “I really like practicing there and I’m looking forward to starting the tournament here.
“My goal is to play in Singapore again this year, so I have to play my best at every tournament. I’ll just go match by match and tournament by tournament, and I hope to be in the Top 8 again.”
World No. 53 Annika Beck won one title in 2015 and complied a 33-30 record on the WTA tour. She also reached the second round of the Australian Open in both singles and doubles.
This marks the fourth time that Halep and Beck will meet on the WTA tour. While the Romanian leads the series 2-1, it was Beck who won their most recent encounter: a grass court matchup at the s-Hertogenbosch event earlier in the season. Considering their latest encounter is on a hard court, Beck’s tactics will not be enough to defeat the ambitious Halep.
Prediction: Simona Halep in Three Sets