Romanian tennis superstar, Simona Halep will begin her 2019 WTA Miami Masters campaign in the second round. Halep received an opening round bye due to her high seeding which means that her first match at Miami will be against Taylor Townsend from the US.
Taylor Townsend won her opening round match in straight sets as she beat Johanna Larsson from Sweden. It was a dominant performance by Townsend as she won all of her service games and 57% of her return games to set up a comfortable victory. The returning was very impressive as Townsend won over 50% of the points played during the serve of Johanna Larsson. This will be a much tougher match for Townsend as she is playing the number 2 seed.
Simona Halep enters this tournament with a new coach after a few recent failures. That being said, Halep has still been in very good form as she made the quarterfinals of WTA Dubai and finished second at WTA Qatar. Simona Halep has a 70% win rate at the Miami Open which is poor by her standards but it is still a very impressive record. Halep has only lost in the second round of the Miami Masters once in her career which means that she will be very tough to beat in this match.
Simona Halep and Taylor Townsend have played each other twice in the past with Halep winning on both occasions. The most recent match between these two players was in 2018 at the Fed Cup where Halep won in straight sets.
As far as this match is concerned, I am going to pick Simona Halep to win. Halep is a much stronger player and she has more experience and more winning results at big tournaments. The arrival of a new coach should give Simona Halep a boost and I see her winning this match with ease.