Fixture: (24) Simona Halep vs (16) Coco Gauff
Date: 13 March 2022
Tournament: BNP Paribas Open
Round: Third (Round of 32)
Venue: Indian Wells, California, USA
Category: WTA 1000
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt
Prize money: $8,369,455
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Simona Halep vs Coco Gauff preview
24th seed Simona Halep will face 16th seed Coco Gauff in the third round of the Indian Wells Masters on Sunday.
The Romanian has fared decently in 2022, winning 12 out of 15 matches so far. Halep started the year by winning the Melbourne Summer Set 1 with a victory over Veronika Kudermetova in the final. She then reached the fourth round of the Australian Open before losing to Alize Cornet.
The 30-year-old reached the semifinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships after straight-set wins over Alison Riske, Elena-Gabriela Ruse and eighth seed Ons Jabeur. However, she lost to eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko despite being a set up. Halep then suffered a first-round exit at the Qatar Open, losing to Caroline Garcia.
The former World No.1 entered the Indian Wells draw as the 24th seed and faced Ekaterina Alexandrova in the second round. Halep beat the Russian in a grueling encounter that lasted three sets to seal her place in the third round.
Gauff had a rather disappointing start to 2022 as she lost in the second round of the Adelaide International to Ashleigh Barty. However, she remains the only player to have won a set against Barty this year.
The American then reached the semifinals of the Adelaide International 2 before losing to eventual champion Madison Keys. Gauff suffered first-round exits at the Australian Open and the Dubai Tennis Championships before reaching the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open. In the latter, the teenager registered straight-set wins over Shelby Rogers, Caroline Garcia and third seed Paula Badosa but lost to Maria Sakkari in straight sets.
Gauff is seeded 16th at the Indian Wells Open and reached the third round following a 6-1, 7-6 (4) win over Claire Liu.
Simona Halep vs Coco Gauff head-to-head
Sunday's match at Indian Wells will be the second meeting between Halep and Gauff. The two previously locked horns in the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2019 with the Romanian winning 6-3, 6-3. Halep eventually went on to win the tournament.
The winner of this match faces Sorana Cirstea or Anna Kalinskaya in the fourth round.
Simona Halep vs Coco Gauff prediction
While Halep is an experienced competitor looking to make her way back to the top of the game, Gauff is a precocious talent whose best years are ahead of her. This match promises to be an exciting one.
Halep's form suffered last year but she looks to be on course for a resurgence in 2022.
Halep will look to put pressure on Gauff with her strong groundstrokes. Her return game will also come in handy as she tries to cope with the American's aggression.
Gauff has a pretty good serve, but the teenager is susceptible to double faults, having served 28 of those in her last five matches. Like Halep, Gauff's speed and movement are her biggest assets.
This match promises to be close, but Halep's experience might just help her pull through.
Prediction: Halep to win in three sets