Fixture: Simona Halep vs Yulia Putintseva
Date: 19 September 2020
Tournament: Italian Open 2020
Venue: Rome, Italy
Category: WTA Premier 5
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €1,771,082
Match timing: 12 pm CEST, 3.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN
Simona Halep vs Yulia Putintseva preview
Simona Halep is ranked No. 2 in the world, and easily one of best claycourters around. With World No. 1 and reigning French Open champion Ash Barty deciding not to come to Europe, the Romanian has to be considered the strong favorite to win the Italian Open in Rome.
Halep comes into this quarterfinal match on an 11-match winning streak. She won the WTA Dubai event prior to the tennis shutdown, and the Prague Open on clay last month.
The Romanian chose not to travel to New York for the US Open, and stayed in Europe to practice on clay instead.
Halep's opponent, the 25-year-old Yulia Putintseva, comes into this event after reaching her first ever US Open quarterfinal. However, the Russian-born Kazakh player's favorite surface is clay; she has reached the quarterfinals of the French Open on two occasions in the past.
Putintseva is playing for the sixth week in a row on the tour, and seems to be in the groove to challenge anyone.
Simona Halep vs Yulia Putintseva head-to-head
Simona Halep leads the head-to-head against Yulia Putintseva by a margin of 1-0.
The two players have met only once before, in a third round showdown at the Australian Open in January this year. Halep won that match in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.
"I expected this kind of match. I knew how she's playing, but she played a little bit stronger with the forehand than I expected. I knew that I had to attack her serve, to serve well, because she's hitting the return well."
Simona Halep vs Yulia Putintseva prediction
After the tour shut-down for five months and the break between her last event in Prague and this week, Simona Halep has looked a bit rusty in both her wins - over Jasmine Paolini and Dayana Yastremska - this week.
Yulia Putintseva, on the other hand, has the benefit of playing an extra round this week. Moreover, she has scored two upset wins already, over the No. 8 seed Petra Martic and the No. 10 seed Elena Rybakina.
That said, Putintseva was stretched in both those matches. She let a 6-3, 5-1 lead over Martic slip before winning in three, while she came back from a set and 2-5 down against Rybakina to win in three again.
The Kazakh is surely going to be battle ready. However, Halep will probably be a little too strong and consistent for the temperamental Putintseva.
Prediction: Simona Halep to win in straight sets.Published 18 Sep 2020, 21:20 IST