Simona Halep vs Garbine Muguruza: Rome Masters Preview and Prediction
Top seed Simona Halep takes on ninth seed Garbine Muguruza in a scintillating semifinal at the Rome Masters.
Halep was leading 6-2 2-0 in the quarterfinals against Yulia Putinsteva when Putinsteva retired hurt with a lower back injury. Having won all her matches in straight sets so far, the Romanian is on the right track to lift the title.
On the other hand, Muguruza stunned the in-form Victoria Azarenka in three sets in the quarterfinals. She was on the back-foot after losing the first set 6-3 but produced a strong comeback winning the next two sets 6-3 6-4 to book her spots in the semis. The Spaniard has shown signs of resurgence with her rhythm and range on target in this tournament.
Head to Head record
Muguruza leads the head to head record 4-2 against Halep. Halep has won both her encounters on the clay surface. Having been a two-time runner-up in the Italian Open, Halep would be looking to clinch the title this time. With her proactive defense and fantastic placement, she can grind down any opponent with her accuracy. She would be fresher than Muguruza having spent less time on the court.
The Spaniard has played two grueling three-setters in this tournament and that could take a toll on her performance if the match against Halep goes the distance. Muguruza will attempt to reach the Rome final for the first time having lost in the semifinals in 2016 and 2017.
"It's a semifinal, it's what I expect these type of players to face, it's always a battle, again, she's playing good and a good clay court player, every surface, but a good clay court player, as well," said Muguruza sounding eager ahead of the clash.
"Every time I played well against her, I was as much as possible aggressive, if I play my best game and if I feel great physically on court, I have a big chance to win the match, but every time is different because she's playing so hard. you don't really know what to expect, it's tough every time, so I don't plan for a specific match, because you never know on court," reckoned Halep ahead of the showdown.
With both players equally adept on the red dirt, the fans can expect some intense rallies from the baseline.
Prediction - Simona Halep to win in three sets
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