Simona Halep vs. Ekaterina Makarova 2018 Madrid Masters Tennis Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction
Makarova vs. Halep
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Simona Halep and Ekaterina Makarova meet in the first round of the 2018 tennis Madrid Masters.
Simona Halep enters this tournament losing three of her last five matches, but she’s still an impressive 20-4 on the season and has been a beast on clay over the years. While Halep did struggle in Stuttgart with her second serve, she’s made deep tournament runs in every appearance before Miami and should be motivated to keep the top ranking in the world. As long as Halep gets off to a strong start and doesn’t get too down on herself, you have to like here chances to compete with anybody in this field. Halep obviously has to like the momentum to continue considering she’s a two-time defending champion at this tournament. Halep has won 10 of her last 12 matches on clay court.
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Ekaterina Makarova enters this tournament in poor form, as she’s lost four of her last six matches and is 6-8 on the year overall. Makarova has played just on match on clay court this season and is coming off a loss to in which she struggled with her serve and was broken three times. Makarova has to get the ball rolling here if this season is going to be considered a success. Makarova has lost in the first round of the Madrid Masters in three of her last four appearances. The good news for Makarova is that she does have 10 wins over top-10 players dating back to last year. Makarova has split her last six matches on clay court.
These two have played six times and Halep has won four of those matches. The most recent meeting was in Doha of this year, a match Halep won in 15 games. Every match took place on hard court, and Makarova’s only win over Halep came in Washington of last year and the 2015 Australian Open.
Halep has had a couple of recent hiccups, but her overall form is head and shoulders better than what Makarova has shown up to this point. The head to head numbers are also quite overwhelming. Not to mention this is one of the big tournaments Halep hasn’t struggled to win recently.
Halep should win this match in straight sets.