Following an impressive week in Dubai, Simona Halep will take part in the Indian Wells Premier event as one of the tournament’s top seeds. The Romanian will come up against Russia’s Daria Gavrilova in her first match in the American desert, an opponent whom she has never encountered previously on the WTA tour.
Simona Halep began her 2015 season with a title win in Shenzhen before advancing to the Australian Open. There, she reached the quarter-final stage, where she fell to Ekaterina Makarova. Since then, Halep has rebounded with a title win in Dubai, where she completed a turbulent win that included victories over Karolina Pliskova, Caroline Wozniacki, and Ekaterina Makarova. She will now look to carry forth that momentum this week under the intense heat at Indian Wells.
It should be noted that Halep also suffered from a rumoured tragedy in her family. According to police reports, Halep’s cousion, 29-year old, Nicia Arghir, hung himself in the office at his home on Monday in Romania. However, Halep is yet to speak out on the news. Initially, the Romanian star was comtemplating to withdraw from the event, which is more than understandable in this difficult moments.
Halep will come up against Daria Gavrilova in the second round. The Russian qualifier defeated Lauren Embree and Arina Rodionova to reach the main draw of the tournament, and then beat Silvia Soler-Espinosa on Wednesday to secure her spot in the second round against Halep. Daria won the match 6-3, 6-4 in 1 hour and 18 minutes; she won 68% of her first service points and broke serve five time to close out the victory.
This marks the first time that Halep and Gavrilova will cross paths on the professional circuit. Given the notable difference in ranking and experience, this should be a fairly straightforward opening match for Halep. However, given her slow start at events, and the rumoured tragedy that took place in her personal life, anything is possible in this Friday encounter.
Prediction: Simona Halep in Three Sets