Sharapova vs. Halep
|Date & Time||Monday August 28, 2017, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova meet in the first round of the 2017 US Open.
Simona Halep has won seven of her last nine matches, but she’s coming off a Cincinnati Masters finals appearance in which she won just one game. It’s always frustrating trying to predict a Halep match because she relies so much on how she’s feeling that day. If Halep is confident and moving well, she can beat anybody in the world. If Halep is overthinking things and isn’t confident, she allows that to takeover her game and it all falls down hill. Either way, Halep is 39-12 this season and should be considered a threat to win this whole tournament. Halep has lost in the first round of a grand slam three times since 2015. However, Halep has never lost in the first round of the US Open since 2010. Halep has won seven of her last nine matches on hard court.
Maria Sharapova has played just nine matches this season since her return from suspension, and she’s coming off the tournament in Stanford in which she pulled out due to arm soreness. Conditioning and rust are the two main questions for Sharapova, as we all know what she’s capable of when playing in great form. Sharapova has just one match on hard court this season and doesn’t have her timing and consistency with her serve quite yet, as that’s the area where she’s struggled most during her losses. Sharapova hasn’t lost in the first round of a grand slam since the 2010 Australian Open. Sharapova has also never lost in the first round of the US Open. Sharapova has won seven of her last nine matches on hard court.
These two have played six times and Sharapova has won all six meetings. The most recent match was in the 2015 WTA Championships, a match Sharapova won in 20 games. Only three of the six matches have gone the distance, and this will be the fifth match on hard court.
I’m scared to pick Halep in this match because as I said before, confidence is everything to her, and the fact Sharapova has owned the head to head could create issues. Halep needs to go out there and just let her play takeover instead of thinking about a poor point or past results. Even with that said, Sharapova has very little playing time under her belt and it’s tough to go from not playing to beating one of the top in the world. Sharapova’s best win since her return was against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in Madrid. Halep is several steps up.
I’m siding with Halep to finally beat Sharapova.