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Rome 2020: Simona Halep vs Yulia Putintseva preview, head-to-head & prediction | Italian Open

 Simona Halep reacts after beating Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine at the Italian Open
 Simona Halep reacts after beating Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine at the Italian Open
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 18 Sep 2020, 22:07 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Simona Halep vs Yulia Putintseva 

Date: 19 September 2020

Tournament: Italian Open 2020

Round: Quarterfinals

Venue: Rome, Italy

Category: WTA Premier 5

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: €1,771,082

Match timing: 12 pm CEST, 3.30 pm IST

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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.

 Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan during her win over Petra Martic of Croatia at the Italian Open.
 Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan during her win over Petra Martic of Croatia at the Italian Open.

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.

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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.

After her win in Melbourne, Halep told the media:

"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 with the WTA Prague Open trophy last month.
Simona Halep with the WTA Prague Open trophy last month.

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.

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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
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