Cincinnati Preview – Simona Halep v Jelena Jankovic

Simona Halep has had a good but busy couple of weeks on the tour making the final in Toronto but had to withdrew due injury/illness during the final and did look like she was running on empty. The world number three is one win away from another final and if she wins against Jankovic she will then secure the number two seed for the US Open which would be massive for Halep. Halep is due to play New Haven next week where she is the top seed but if I were Simona and I beat Jankovic later today I would withdraw from New Haven and make sure I’m fresh for the last Grand Slam of the year.

After a recent slump in form Simona has been playing very well these last couple of weeks which is great to see ahead of the US Open. The confidence is coming back into her game however something I do think has been a bit questionable is her serve. In her last match against Pavlyuchenkova she served at 59% and won 65% of points on her first serve. These stats aren’t too bad but I think the service motion especially the ball toss these last couple of weeks has been very high and a bit bouncy which has sometimes fallen into the opponents strengths when returning serve. I do think the ball toss is very high and with that I feel that once Simona hit’s the ball she has a lot of work to do to settle on the court and find her position again, it will be interesting to see how she does against a powerful player in Jankovic.

Jankovic can be quite an unpredictable player and may have to come up with something very special to beat Halep. Simona leads their head to head 5-1 and has won their last 5 meetings. Only one of their previous 6 meetings has been a two set victory the others have been all three sets and that two set victory came for Halep just last week in Toronto so is another straight sets win on cards?

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