Last week Simona Halep said that she wanted to play Serena Williams in the final but didn’t get her dream and was defeated by Belinda Bencic in the final having to retire 0-3 down in the final set. This week however Simona has got what she wanted a final with Serena Williams who isn’t playing at her best this week.
It’s so great to see Halep winning again and following up her great week in Toronto with another final in Cincinnati this week and one win away from her 4th title of the year. I do hope she can take that next step forward and even beat Serena for the second time. Simona put in probably one of her best performances to defeated Jankovic 6-1 6-2 last night and that win has secured the 2nd seed for the US Open meaning Sharapova will be the 3rd seed at Flushing Meadows.
I don’t think Serena has played her best tennis this week but has still fought to get to the final. Ivanovic should have won their meeting in the previous round but just couldn’t find the finish line despite being up a set and a break against the world number one. Something that has been obvious throughout the week is Serena’s serve. She hasn’t served well at all and despite a 6-3 6-4 win v Svitolina yesterday she served at 53% with 9 aces and 8 double faults as well as only 39% of points won on her second serve but was helped out by Elina’s serve which wasn’t strong enough to bother Serena and Elina actually won a better percentage (52%) of points on her second serve and then she did on her first serve (48%).
Serena leads the head to head 5-1 if you don’t include the walkover Simona got in Indian Wells and I do think we could be set for a Halep win in Cincinnati. I didn’t expect to see Halep tire a bit this week but she has looked so strong and her performance last night as Jankovic was top class with the forehand especially causing countless problems for Jankovic.
Serena is unbeaten on an American hard court winning her last 43 matches so who knows what will happen in Cincinnati today? My pick is Simona to win!