Just over a week after the two competitors were scheduled to meet at Indian Wells, world No. 1 Serena Williams and Simona Halep will cross paths in the semi-final round of the Miami Open. Since Williams withdrew from their last encounter, she still leads the head-to-head series 4-1.
In a rollercoaster encounter that required determination against a rejuvenated and inspired opponent, top seed Serena Williams managed to overcome Germany’s Sabine Lisicki in three sets to reach the semi-final stage of the tournament. In the end, she managed to take an early break in the final set and closed out the match 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-3.
“I look forward to it because I didn’t get to play her last time,” Williams said. “I was disappointed to not be able to play, and just not even be close to 100%. So I look forward to playing her this time.”
In an intriguing quarter-final encounter, third seed Simona Halep defeated Sloane Stephens 6-1, 7-5 to advance to the final four in Miami. The Romanian had a slight hiccup during the second set as she led 6-1, 3-0, but eventually managed to break nd close out the encounter in straight sets.
“The beginning of the match was really fast. I think I was really playing my best tennis,” Halep said in her on-court interview. “She came back and changed the tactics, playing a little bit slower, and I lost my rhythm for a little bit. But I’m happy I could get it back and win the match in two sets in the end.”
Williams and Halep will meet on the professional tour for the sixth time over their careers, and the first time this season given Williams’ withdrawal last season. It is safe to say that Williams will be on high alert against Halep, as she will likely remember the devastating loss in the round robin stage of the WTA finals. Now that they will finally meet in 2015, it will be interesting to see who holds the edge.
Prediction: Serena Williams in Three Sets