Belinda Bencic vs. Simona Halep
|Date & Time||Friday May 10, 2019, 8:30 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Belinda Bencic and Simona Halep meet in the semifinals of the 2019 tennis Madrid Open.
Belinda Bencic is coming off a three sets win over Naomi Osaka that took 29 games to decide. In the victory, Bencic won 66 percent of her first serve points and 50 percent of her second serve points. Bencic won 60 percent of her total service points and converted on six of her 11 break points. Bencic came back after dropping the first set and did just enough with her return to beat yet another top player and continue what has been her breakthrough season. Bencic has been the giant killer this year and has now won at least four matches in three of her last seven tournaments. Keep this up and it won’t be long before Bencic is a top-10 player in the world. Bencic has 20 career wins over top-10 players and seven of those wins have come this year. Bencic hopes to make her second final of the year and the ninth final of her career. Bencic has won five of her last six matches on clay court.
Simona Halep is coming off a straight sets win over Ashleigh Barty that took 24 games to decide. In the victory, Halep won 75 percent of her first serve points and 38 percent of her second serve points. Halep won 70 percent of her total service points and converted on four of her nine break points. Halep was broken twice in her victory, but she got 87 percent of her first serves in play, a percentage that makes the Romanian extremely tough to beat on any surface. Halep has now won 14 of her last 17 matches overall when you include two Fed Cup matches, so it’s fair to say she’s back on track, but we always know things can go south extremely quick out of nowhere, so tread cautiously. Halep has now won four matches in each of her last two tournaments. Halep hopes to make her second final of the year and the 35th of her career. Halep has won each of her last 11 matches on clay court.
These two have played three times and Bencic has won two of those matches, including the most recent in Dubai of this year, a match that ws decided in straight sets. Halep’s only win over Bencic came in the 2014 Wimbledon. Two of the three meetings have gone the distance and this will be the first match on clay.
We’ve been riding Bencic pretty hard this season and backed her with confidence as a pick em against Osaka yesterday. She’s consistently shown up in big matches and plays like she knows she’s supposed to beat the top names in the sport. It’s been impressive. Halep is playing well, but she’s always willing to throw in a stinker out of nowhere, so form means nothing to me with her. With that said, Halep is the better mover in this match, which is key on this surface, and she’s serving at a high level which puts some of those nerves at ease for me. Halep also has won 11 straight matches on clay.
I wouldn’t be shocked if Bencic won this match given what she’s done all year, but Halep should be able to get the job done based on how she’s played up to this point.