Simona Halep vs. Johanna Konta
|Date & Time||Tuesday May 7, 2019, 6:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Simona Halep and Johanna Konta meet in the second round of the 2019 tennis Madrid Open.
Simona Halep is coming off a straight sets win over Margarita Gasparyan that took 16 games to decide. In the victory, Halep won 71 percent of her first serve points and 35 percent of her second serve points. Halep won 58 percent of her total service points and converted on six of her seven break points. Halep made light work of her opening opponent and was comfortable with her return, which is always key to her game. After some hiccups here and there, Halep has won nine of her last 11 matches when you include two Fed Cup matches, so she’s starting to look like the top-five player in the world again. Halep hopes to win at least two matches for her sixth straight tournament. Halep has won eight straight matches on clay court.
Johanna Konta is coming off a straight sets win over Alison Riske that took 17 games to decide. In the victory, Konta won 73 percent of her first serve points and 58 percent of her second serve points. Konta won 67 percent of her total service points and converted on four of her six break points. Konta was consistent with her serve in her opening match, which included saving two of her three break points and dropping in four aces. Konta has quietly won 10 of her last 13 matches and is playing her best tennis of the year right now with clay court season in full swing. Konta has 15 career wins over top-10 players, but only one of those has come in the last two years. Konta has won five of her last six matches on clay court.
These two have played seven times and Halep has won four of those meetings, including the most recent match in a 2017 Thailand exhibition. This will be the first meeting on clay and four of the seven meetings have been decided in straight sets.
Konta is more than capable of winning this match given her current form and the competitive history she has against Halep. With that said, Halep is showing signs of consistency and is the type of player who can roll off double-digit wins in a row when she’s feeling good about herself. Of course, a drop in confidence and Halep can completely unravel, but she’s somebody I look to back blindly whenever she’s got it going. Konta also hasn’t had much recent success against top tier players.
I like Halep to advance to the third round.