Simona Halep vs. Elise Mertens
|Date & Time||Saturday February 16, 2019, 11:00 AM (EST)|
Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Simona Halep and Elise Mertens meet in the final of the 2019 tennis Qatar Open.
Simona Halep is coming off a three sets win over Elina Svitolina that took 28 games to decide. In the victory, Halep won 64 percent of her first serve points and 53 percent of her second serve points. Halep won 60 percent of her total service points and converted on four of her nine break points. Halep is easily coming off her best serving performance of the tournament, and she’s produced a combined 14 breaks in her last seven sets. While still working her way back from an injury, beating a top-10 player in a big semifinal is a nice step toward returning to the player she was around this time last year. Halep hopes to win her first title since last years Canadian Open and the 19th title of her career overall. Halep has lost seven of her last 10 final appearances and is 10-7 in final appearances on hard court. Halep has won six of her last seven matches on hard court.
Elise Mertens is coming off a three sets win over Angelique Kerber that took 25 games to decide. In the victory, Mertens won 57 percent of her first serve points and 61 percent of her second serve points. Mertens won 58 percent of her total service points and produced four breaks on seven break points. Mertens lost a combined five games in the two sets she won and has won eight of the last nine sets she’s played. However, Mertens must improve her first serve if she has a chance of winning this match. Mertens hopes to win her first title since last years Morocco Open and her fifth title of her career. Mertens is 4-1 in pervious final appearances and is 2-0 in final appearances on hard court. Mertens has won six of her last seven matches on hard court.
These two have played twice and Halep has won both meetings in straight sets. The two matches took place in the 2018 French Open and the 2018 Madrid Masters.
The fact that Halep beat Mertens in straight sets twice last year on clay improves her chances in this match considering she’s better on hard court. Halep can use her power to spray more winners and is a better mover on this surface. Mertens also was extremely shaky with her serve in her last match, which doesn’t bode well considering the returner Halep is.
I like Halep to win her 19th career title.