Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Simona Halep
|Date & Time||Wednesday October 17, 2018, 6:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Simona Halep and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova meet in the second round of the 2018 tennis Kremlin Cup.
Simona Halep is in full struggle mode, as she enters this tournament on a four match losing streak and retired in Beijing due to a back injury. Halep is not serving well, has more unforced errors than usual and knowing her, her confidence could certainly be taking a hit, making things worse. The good news is that Halep is a fighter and one of the more competitive players in the world, and she has reason to thrive in this tournament with the WTA Finals right around the corner. Halep needs to put some wins under her belt before heading into the big tournament that features only the best players in the world. This is a big tournament for Halep and her preparation for the upcoming event. Halep has won four of her last five matches on indoor hard court.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is coming off a straight sets win over Ajla Tomljanovic that took 22 games to decide. In the victory, Pavlyuchenkova won 67 percent of her first serve points and 65 percent of her second serve points. Pavlyuchenkova won 66 percent of her total served points and converted on four of her five break points. Pavlyuchenkova has now won six of her last nine matches overall and gives herself a shot to win this match if she can continue to hold her serve for the most part. Pavlyuchenkova is capable of obviously taking her game to another level, but she looked decent in her opening round victory and has produced at least three breaks in each of her last 10 matches. Pavlyuchenkova has two wins over top-10 players this year. Pavlyuchenkova has won four of her last six matches on indoor hard court.
These two have played eight times and Halep has won all eight matches. The most recent match was in Montreal of this year, a match Halep won in three sets. The last two matches between Pavlyuchenkova and Halep have gone the distance, but every other meeting was decided in straight sets.
With the way Halep is playing and the back injury, you can make a strong case for Pavlyuchenkova to win this match or at the very least be worth a play. However, Halep has had some time off to nurse her injury and you can’t ignore the glaring head to head numbers. Sometimes a player has your number, and it’s clear Halep is comfortable against Pavlyuchenkova. You don’t see that one-sided history often when you get two top-50 players.
Assuming Halep is feeling better, I’ll take her in straight sets here.