Halep vs. Muguruza
|Date & Time||Thursday June 7, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep meet in the semifinals of the 2018 tennis French Open.
Garbine Muguruza is coming off a straight sets win over Maria Sharapova that took 15 games to decide. In the victory, Muguruza won 72 percent of her first serve points and 46 percent of her second serve points. Muguruza won 58 percent of her return points and broke six times in her quarterfinal victory. Muguruza has yet to drop a set this tournament and is forcing many unforced errors from her opponent due to being aggressive and hitting the ball deep. Muguruza isn’t giving he opponent many chances to breathe, and that’s the reason for her quick success in these recent matches. Muguruza hopes to make her fourth career grand slam final and her second career French Open final. Muguruza is 3-0 in career grand slam semifinal matches. Muguruza has won seven of her last nine matches on clay court.
Simona Halep is coming off a three sets win over Angelique Kerber that took 30 games to decide. In the victory, Halep won 61 percent of her first serve points and 53 percent of her second serve points. Halep managed to win despite 46 unforced errors and being broken four times. Halep showed great fight in her quarterfinal victory, as she fought back after dropping a tough first set tiebreak and dominated in the final two sets. Halep is having a lot of success with her return and is doing a better job of putting mistakes in the past rather than letting them impact the rest of her game. However, this is usually the point in grand slams where Halep falls apart, so it’s going to be interesting if the Romanian can finally close the deal on the big stage and put herself in elite company. Halep hopes to make her fourth career grand slam final and her third career French Open final. Halep is 3-2 in career grand slam semifinal matches. Halep has won 12 of her last 14 matches on clay court.
These two have played four times and Muguruza has won three of those meetings. The most recent match was in the 2017 Cincinnati Masters, a match Muguruza won in 13 games. Halep’s only win over Muguruza came in the 2016 Stuttgart Open, the only meeting between these two on clay. Two of the four matches have gone the distance.
Halep was my pick to win the French Open, and I truly hope she finally gets the money off her back. She’s too good of a player to continue to come up short in the big moments. However, if you’re picking this match based on the current form, you can’t pick against Muguruza. She’s suffocating her opponents with such deep shots and bullying her way across the court. Her return has been flawless most of this tournament and if Halep is going to make a high number of unforced errors again, she stands no chance.
I want to side with Halep, but I can’t bet against Muguruza in her current form.