Create
Notifications
Advertisement

Prague Open 2020: Simona Halep vs Elise Mertens preview, head-to-head & prediction

Simona Halep had to to battle hard for her wins early in the week.
Simona Halep had to to battle hard for her wins early in the week.
ANALYST
Modified 16 Aug 2020
Preview

Following a week of pulsating tennis action, the field at the 2020 Prague Open has come down to the last two women standing: top seed Simona Halep and Belgian No. 1 Elise Mertens.

Halep would be particularly relieved to have made it to this stage of the tournament. The World No. 2 had some tough matches early in the week, and came back from the brink of exit on multiple occasions.

Mertens has had her own sets of problems in Prague. Pitted against quality opponents, the Belgian managed to scrape through by the skin of her teeth - and now finds herself in the reckoning for a sixth career title.

Elise Mertens has an impeccable record in tournament finals
Elise Mertens has an impeccable record in tournament finals

The Belgian historically done very well playing in the summit clash of a tournament. She has a 6-1 finals record, with her only loss coming at the 2017 Istanbul Open.

That sort of a stat would give Mertens some much-needed confidence going into the match on Sunday, especially considering the quality of her opponent. Halep has been in a lot more big matches over the years, and is a multiple Slam champion to boot.

Mertens has always been a solid performer, having made the second week at Grand Slams frequently, but it's the big names that she has trouble beating. A win over Halep here will be a great boost for the Belgian's upcoming Grand Slam campaigns.

Simona Halep vs Elise Mertens head-to-head

Simona Halep beat Elise Mertens at the Australian Open this year
Simona Halep beat Elise Mertens at the Australian Open this year

The two women have played each other four times, all within the last two years, with Halep leading the head-to-head 3-1. The Romanian also won their latest meeting, which was at this year's Australian Open, with a comfortable 6-4, 6-4 scoreline.

Advertisement

While Mertens did manage a win last year, that came on the faster hardcourts of Doha. Halep remains the big favorite on clay, especially now that she has had enough time on court to move past the initial rusty play.

Simona Halep vs Elise Mertens prediction

Elise Mertens will need to take the initiative early on, and not let Simona Halep dictate. Players have had success against the Romanian this week by keeping her away from the baseline.

Halep has been moving well side to side, but has been caught off guard a lot with drop shots and shorter returns. Mertens is not going to win too many of the long-drawn-out baseline rallies against Halep, but she can take the match out of her hand by putting her in uncomfortable court positions often.

It will take nothing short of a flawless performance to stop Halep in Prague, and now it is up to Mertens to deliver.

Prediction: Simona Halep to win in three sets.

Match details

Tournament: Prague Open 2020

Venue: Prague, Czech Republic

Category: WTA International

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: $225,000

Match timing: 1 pm CEST, 4.30 pm IST

Published 16 Aug 2020, 05:39 IST
Advertisement
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now