Simona Halep vs Ajla Tomljanovic - 2021 Australian Open Women's Singles Second Round
Wednesday February 10th, 2021 / 4:00am EST
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Second seeded Simona Halep of Romania faces Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia in the Second Round of the 2021 Australian Open in Melbourne. The match is scheduled to take place on Tuesday February 9th, 2021 at a time yet to be announced. This will be the fifth meeting between the two players, and Halep has won all four of their previous encounters. Interestingly, all of those have been extremely close. Can Halep win for the 5th time or can the Aussie cause the upset?
Simona Halep is a former world number one and is one of the main contenders for the title here at the Australian Open. She has a relentless baseline game and is one of the best movers on tour. She is the huge favorite on paper and in theory should have no trouble cruising through this match. There are some major concerns about her fitness however she has said that she is fully fit and ready to go. She dispelled all notions that she isn’t at 100% with her straight sets win over Cabrera, 6-1, 6-2. She cruised to victory without breaking a sweat and is primed for an assault on the title.
Ajla Tomljanovic is currently ranked #72 in the world but has been as high as #39. Once spoken about as a rising star in the game, she has struggled for form and fitness in recent years, and has seen her ranking plummet outside the top 100. She has slowly improved it and will seek to re-enter the top 50 with a strong season in 2021. She played well in her opening round win over Misaki Doi, losing just three games in the process. She returned extremely well but struggled a bit with her first serve, an area that she will have to improve on against Halep who is a phenomenal returner of serve. She enters this match as the underdog but will take confidence in the fact that she has come close to defeating Halep before, and knows what to expect.
Despite possibly not being fully fit, I expect Simona Halep to win here. Tomljanovic knows her well and will know what to expect but her form has been poor lately and it isn’t likely that she can challenge Halep at this stage. The Romanian is an extremely intelligent player and will know how to adjust to any scenario. Simona Halep to win.