Monica Niculescu vs Wang Yafan
|Date & Time||Thursday January 3, 2019, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Romanian tennis star, Monica Niculescu has made it into the quarterfinal of the 2019 WTA Shenzhen Open in China where she will be playing Wang Yafan from China.
Monica Niculescu enters this match having beaten Kristyna Pliskova in the previous round in 3 sets. It was a solid performance by Niculescu as she impressed by returning serve exceptionally well. Monica Niculescu won over 55% of the points played during Pliskova’s serve which allowed her to dominate the match, especially the last 2 sets where she drove home her advantage. It is important to note that Monica Niculescu had some issues with her as she allowed her opponent to win 3 break points. Monica Niculescu will need to improve her service games if she wishes to continue her progress in this tournament.
On the other side of the coin, Wang Yafan also won her previous match in 3 sets as she beat Ons Jabeur. Similar to Monica Niculescu, Wang was also exceptional at returning serve as she won 4 break points. Wang’s return game allowed her to dominate the second and third set which was essential in allowing her to secure the win. Throughout this tournament, Wang has received exceptional support from her home crowd which should give her a boost in this match also.
Monica Niculescu and Wang Yafan have played once in the past. On that occasion, Monica Niculescu won. The match was played in 2014 at WTA Guangzhou and Monica Niculescu won that clash in straight sets.
As far as this match is concerned, I am going to pick Wang Yafan to win this match. Both players are playing decent tennis and seem to have similar strengths and weaknesses. With that in mind, I am picking Wang to win since she is playing at home and that advantage should be decisive.