The bottom half of the women’s draw plays at Wimbledon on Monday and amongst them will be the former World No.1, Simona Halep. The Romanian has often been vulnerable on grass, especially against the heavier hitters on a good day. She opens her tournament against the Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Sasnovich doesn’t quite have the reputation of her compatriot Aryna Sabalenka but has solidified herself as a solid top 50 player who can trouble some of the better players on her best days. However, her current run of form is concerning going into a match with one of the best about. She is on a 5 match losing streak that includes 2 losses on the grass – to Venus Williams and Rebecca Peterson.
Halep will want to bounce back after her disappointing performance in Paris. With the draw opening wide for her as the fortnight went on, she was overwhelmed by Amanda Anisimova in the quarter finals. The Romanian has admitted her mindset has changed since finally winning a slam but she still remains focused. “I see tennis different now. I see the tournament different.” she said. “My goal is just to be well on court and to try to play my best tennis every time I step on the court. I’m not thinking of the result anymore, but I’m still motivated. So this is the change.”
Halep made the quarter finals of Eastbourne in her only grass tournament before Wimbledon, eventually losing to Angelique Kerber in straight sets. Halep should be a prime target for many players seeking a big name scalp on the grass but the draw doesn’t look too challenging for her as of now, especially with the first seed being an out of form Daria Kasatkina.
Prediction – Simona Halep in straight sets