Following an entertaining encounter earlier this season, Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki and will meet for a spot in the final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix tournament in Stuttgart on Saturday afternoon. This is just the third time that the two top competitors will cross paths on the professional tour with Halep leading the head-to-head series 2-1.
In a seesaw encounter that saw a bizarre number of breaks, Simona Halep was able to maintain her form at the pivotal moments to secure the 6-4, 6-4 victory over Sara Errani. It was her second impressive clay court showing of the season, as she defeated Garbine Muguruza in her first match in the clay portion of the year.
“I’m happy because I need matches at the beginning of the clay season,” Halep said. “So, it was good that I had a tough opponent in the first round who was hitting the ball very strong, and today I had a different one.
“Errani’s balls are very heavy to play. I did a great job today with my return and I stayed very close to the baseline, and I just tried to open the court more and to finish the balls, to make winners. I couldn’t too many but it was a good match I think.”
In a far different encounter from her upcoming opponent, Caroline Wozniacki managed to breeze past Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 6-3 to secure her spot in the semi-final round in Stuttgart.
“I played well today. Ran a lot of balls down, played aggressively and went from offence to defense and back which is good. I was very pleased with my performance.”
Following a tied head-to-head series, Halep and Wozniacki faced off at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to determine who would win the rubber match. Wozniacki won their first meeting at this event three years ago, while Halep avenged that loss in New Haven in 2013. In the end, it was Halep who rallied back to close out the match in three sets. This marks their first meeting on clay and that only adds another layer of intrigue to the encounter.
Prediction: Simona Halep in Three Sets