Fixture: (12) Simona Halep vs Magda Linette
Date: 17 August 2021
Tournament: Western & Southern Open 2021
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Cincinnati, United States
Category: WTA 1000
Surface: Outdoor hard
Prize money: $1,835,490
Simona Halep vs Magda Linette preview
Simona Halep will look to get her season back on track at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. The Romanian will begin her campaign against the dangerous Magda Linette.
Injuries have plagued Halep all year and she recently fell out of the top 10 of the world rankings, ending a 373-week stay. The 29-year-old suffered a calf tear in Rome three months ago, following which she withdrew from Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.
She returned to action at the National Bank Open this week but lost to Danielle Collins in her opener. Halep has amassed a mediocre 11-6 win-loss record for the year and will be hoping to improve those numbers over the remainder of the season.
Linette has also struggled for consistency this season. The Pole has a win-loss record of 10-11 and has not made a deep run at any event, barring a semi-final appearance on the claycourts of Strasbourg.
The World No. 44 comes into Cincinnati on the back a first-round defeat to Nadia Podoroska in Montreal.
Simona Halep vs Magda Linette head-to-head
The first-round encounter in Cincinnati will be the second match between the two players. Simona Halep leads the head-to-head 1-0 over Magda Linette.
Halep defeated the Pole in the first round of the 2019 French Open in three sets.
Simona Halep vs Magda Linette prediction
Simona Halep is by far the superior player but the fact that she is coming off a long injury layoff could tip the scales in Linette's favor.
Halep does not boast a lot of power herself, but she has the ability to redirect pace. She is also a great returner and one of the quickest players on the WTA Tour.
Linette, on the other hand, likes to dictate play from the baseline. She definitely has more power than Halep but she can be extremely inconsistent and leak unforced errors.
Halep is still finding her way back to full fitness and Linette could certainly pose a threat and possibly take a set. But as long as the Romanian's body holds up, she should be able to eke out a win.
Prediction: Simona Halep to win in three sets.