Simona Halep has showed once more you cannot write her off as a contender for the big events, both on clay and off. She probably is the favourite to win Madrid at the quarter final stage and can establish her case further by beating Ons Jabeur on Wednesday afternoon.
Jabeur has had some decent results on clay recently, including a Charleston final and a run to the quarters in Stuttgart. Having lost to Belinda Bencic in the former, the Tunisian got her revenge in the previous round here – edging the Swiss out in three. Between withdrawals and shock exits, Jabeur’s run here sees her as the highest ranked in the last eight.
Halep remains one of the top clay courters on her day as shown by the ease of her run to this stage. She was dominant against World No. 2 Paula Badosa and Coco Gauff in her last two matches, losing a combined 12 games and dropping serve just twice. “I think I played very well in the first set. When I stayed super focused at 4-All, that was really important, that was the difference,” Halep said after the 6-4 6-4 win against Gauff.
Jabeur will be eager for revenge having lost in straight sets but you’d have to say the conditions favour Halep. The Romanian is a four time finalist in Madrid and does look to be thriving under new coach Patrick Mouratoglou. It will be the first clay court meeting between the two with Halep leading 2-1 across their three hard court clashes.
Prediction – Simona Halep in straight sets