Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki took part in very different matches in the quarter-final stage of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and yet they both arrived in at the final four, and will meet for a spot in the final on Friday afternoon. This is just the third time that the two top competitors will cross paths on the professional tour with the Wozniacki v Halep Head-to-Head series standing at 1-1.
Top seed Simona Halep stepped on court for the night session in Dubai and ended up avenging her Aussie Open loss to Ekaterina Makarova to reach the semi-final stage of the tournament. It was an odd, turbulent match of sorts, and saw Halep win in rollercoaster fashion 6-3, 1-6, 7-5. Even the ending of the contest was surprising, as Halep missed her first four match points before closing it out on her fifth attempt.
“There were ups and downs tonight. It wasn’t easy to be in control the whole match because she’s a good player,” Halep said. “I played really well in the first set, but then in the second set she started to hit stronger, and I think I was one step further behind the baseline, which wasn’t good for me.
“But I just tried to relax and go forward in the court more and take the ball faster, and I’m really happy it ended up being a good match for me. It means a lot, because I need more matches now.”
Unlike her upcoming opponent, Caroline Wozniacki had little trouble dispatching Italy’s Flavia Pennetta in straight sets to arrive in the semi-final in Dubai. She managed 71% of her first service points, 13 winners, and converted six break points to earn the lopsided 7-5, 6-0 victory in 1 hour and 32 minutes.
Halep and Wozniacki will face off in a rubber match to determine who will take the lead in their head-to-head series. Wozniacki won their first meeting at this event three years ago, while Halep avenged that loss in New Haven in 2013.
Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki in Three Sets