Kurumi Nara vs. Simona Halep
|Date & Time||Tuesday July 3, 2018, 7:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Simona Halep and Kurumi Nara meet in the first round of the 2018 tennis Wimbledon.
Simona Halep will play her first tournament since winning her first career grand slam in the French Open. It wasn’t easy, but Halep finally overcame her mental hiccups, dug deep and found a way to close the door on her first major, as she was previously 0-3 in grand slam final appearances and had some heartbreaking losses. It’s going to be interesting to see how Halep deals with the new level of success, as we’ve seen in the past just how some players kind of struggle to return to form after such a physically and emotional victory. Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber are recent examples of that, as both players lost many matches they shouldn’t have lost fresh off winning a grand slam. Halep needs to stay focused on the task at hand and not become complacent. Halep has won six of her last eight matches on grass court.
Kurumi Nara enters this tournament losing five of her last seven matches, and those two victories were qualifications for Eastbourne. Nara is simply not playing well to put it kindly and is coming off a match in which she won just 46 percent of her service points and was broken five times. Nara does have 18 career grand slam wins, so she’s not a young green player who is in over her head here, but she’s not playing well enough to consider for a possible first round upset. Nara has one career win over a top-10 player, which came against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the 2017 US Open. Nara hopes to make the second round of a grand slam for the third time since 2017. Nara has lost three of her last five matches on grass court.
These two have played once, which was in the 2014 , a match Halep won in straight sets. The match took 16 games to be decided.
Nara is not only not playing well, but her patient attack isn’t the type of game that beats Halep. You have to have power and shotmaking ability to push Halep around the court and bully her. Nara doesn’t have that in her bag of tricks. This is a complete mismatch across the board.
There is a letdown factor at play, but the Romanian wins this match in straight sets.