Watching back Simona Halep’s performance against Taylor Townsend I described it as clean.
There was one game in the second set at 2-1 where it did get messy being broken to love but the performance was good but it needs to be better.
I’ve watched Halep for 6/7 years and it has been one hell of a journey to this part of her career now and this next step is interesting. In about 6 weeks time she will go and begin her Roland Garros defence, Darren Cahill isn’t there now and she now has a former coach Daniel Dobre back in her corner.
Since Melbourne the performances from Halep have felt erratic and messy but she managed and was able with great respect to Taylor to play this clean style.
Her groundstrokes were cleanly hit;
The forehand was moving nicely throughout the match, she got good height on it and found the corners of the court.
Taylor didn’t ask the questions needed in all honesty but Simona did her bit fine.
Something I did like seeing was the way she moved the backhand. Halep’s forehand is her best shot but find that presence at times behind the two hander can be a problem but she looked sharp.
This shot inparticular confused me as I thought, why not play the drop shot? However she did seem comfortable as well with this one and followed the backhand in to close off points well.
Now, I said in the headline she needs to get out of second and she does. This performance was clean and solid but it needs to be stepped and some bite needs to be injected into her game.
Next up for Halep is Hercog and then looking forward she does have Venus and Serena in the path to the semi-finals as well.
Success here would be great for Halep but I’m interested in what she does on the clay but I want to see that bite in her game. If you could bottle this performance against Taylor and repeat it with that added sharpness and bite with her movement and shot making then you’ve got a complete Simona Halep performance.