Halep vs. Muguruza
|Date & Time||Sunday August 20, 2017, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep meet Sunday in the final of the 2017 Cincinnati Masters.
Garbine Muguruza is coming off a straight sets win over Karolina Pliskova that took 17 games to decide. In the victory, Muguruza won 80 percent of her first serve points and 44 percent of her second serve points. Muguruza has to be a confident player considering she just won 49 percent of her return points against possibly the best server in the game right now. Muguruza has won 48 percent or better of her return points in three of her last four matches and has given herself tons of break chances. While this tournament hasn’t been perfect for Muguruza, she’s finding ways to win, and a lot of it has to do with her success on the return. Muguruza hopes to win her second title of the season and her fifth for her career. Muguruza has won her last three final appearances and is 2-2 in final appearances on hard court. Muguruza has won eight of her last 10 matches on hard court.
Simona Halep is coming off a straight sets win over Sloane Stephens that took 15 games to decide. In the victory, Halep won 62 percent of her first serve points and 90 percent of her second serve points. Halep has won 14 of her last 16 sets played and will become the No. 1 player in the world for the first time in her career with a victory here. Halep is coming off a match in which she won 53 percent of her return points and it’s been so key to her impressive stretch on hard court this season. As long as Halep doesn’t get into one of her mental funks where her level of play drops along with her confidence, she has to like here chances against anybody. Halep looks for her second title of the season and her 16th of her career. Halep has split her last eight final appearances and is 8-3 in final appearances on hard court. Halep has won nine of her last 11 matches on hard court.
These two have played three times and Muguruza has won two of those matches. The most recent was in the 2015 Stuttgart Open, a match Halep won in three sets. Muguruza is 2-0 against Halep on hard court.
It’s no secret I love Halep’s game and think she can go as far as she wants as long as she avoids the occasional drops in confidence that impact her game so much. It makes her a tough bet due to the unpredictability. However, Halep has some extra motivation with the top spot in the world on the line. You can expect a motivated Halep to show up. While Muguruza is always tough to bet against, she has had issues with lesser players in this tournament and her second serve is something Halep can feast on.
Tight match that could go the distance, but I like Halep to win the title and become the top ranked player in the world.