Australian Open 2020: Simona Halep vs Garbine Muguruza, semi-final match preview and prediction
- Two ascendant women, but who will come out on top in the end?
But the Spaniard showed great resolve to not just turn around the match, but also her fortunes,in the tournament. She picked up the small issues bothering her and worked her way through them one by one.
And the results began to show. She is more confident in her serve, more aggressive with her footwork and is timing the ball a lot better now and Muguruza will need all of that going into the semifinal match against the 2018 runner-up Simona Halep.
The Romanian has played out of her skin and hasn't given an inch to her opponents all week. It helps that the conditions in Melbourne Park have been slower than usual and suit Halep's game really well.
But that doesn't take away anything from Halep, who has been playing some inspired tennis all week. She comes out onto court with a much more positive mindset, as she said her post-match conference:
"It's just a feeling that you don't see this trophy as Impossible anymore. This is what I'm feeling about the Grand Slams now."
And one has to wonder how much her win at Wimbledon last year has helped with that kind of self-belief. Whatever the motivation, this newfound approach and confidence is going Halep a great deal of good.
It will be very interesting to see these two competing against each other as the similarities between them are palpable. Both are former Grand Slam champions, have had struggles with self confidence in recent years, but are now back in a great frame of mind.
The only difference then is the style of play. While Halep will continue to back herself from the baseline, Muguruza will look to mix things up. She is very good with setting up points from the back and then coming forward to the net to finish off points.
That sort of tactic can you an edge against someone like Halep, who likes to have her time on the ball. Muguruza is also more than capable of roughing it out with Halep in long rallies, but one has to see Halep's mastery over those sort of points.
Things can get very close in this one and then you begin to wonder if the extra match wins at the highest level in the more recent times might just give Halep an edge over Muguruza.
Prediction: Halep to win in three sets.Published 29 Jan 2020, 23:54 IST