Simona Halep vs Polona Hercog: Prague Open Preview and Prediction
Top seed Simona Halep will lead the charge in the star-studded Prague Open. Playing her first competitive match six months after triumphing in the Dubai Championships, Halep will be making her debut at this tournament.
The World number 2 was planning to play the Palermo Open but pulled out at the last moment due to a mandatory quarantine ordinance imposed by the region's health ministry.
On the other hand, Polona Hercog will look to gain some form after her unexpected ouster at the hands of World number 157, Elisabetta Cocciaretto in the round of 32 at Palermo. The World number 45 was outplayed in straight sets as she cut a sorry figure committing five double faults and winning just 51% of her first-serve points.
Strengths of Halep
Her seamless transition from offence to defense, consistency in groundstrokes and a versatile backhand are her biggest strengths. The Romanian loves playing long rallies. However, she must improve her second-serve to close out matches quickly.
Strengths of Hercog
A big-serve, experience on the red dirt, and unpredictability makes Hercog a worthy contender. The Slovenian loves playing against big players and will have to be at her best if she wants to pull off an upset against Halep.
Head to Head record
Halep leads the head to head record with two wins and one loss against Hercog. Hercog defeated Halep on clay in an ITF tournament at Sofia way back in 2009.
With her participation doubtful for the US Open 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Halep would be looking to get much-need match practice by playing at Prague. Interestingly, the Romanian would also be playing doubles alongside Barbora Strycova.
Though Halep would be a bit rusty, her love for the clay surface is well-known and that would make her feel more comfortable.
Prediction - Simona Halep to win in straight sets
Featured image credits: WTA