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Moscow 2021: Simona Halep vs Veronika Kudermetova preview, head-to-head & prediction | VTB Kremlin Cup

Simona Halep in action at the 2021 US Open - Day 7
Simona Halep in action at the 2021 US Open - Day 7
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Match details

Fixture: (8) Simona Halep vs Veronika Kudermetova

Date: 21 October 2021

Tournament: VTB Kremlin Cup

Round: Second round (Round of 16)

Venue: Moscow, Russia

Category: WTA 500

Surface: Hardcourt

Prize money: $565,530

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video

Simona Halep vs Veronika Kudermetova preview

Eighth seed Simona Halep will lock horns with Russian Veronika Kudermetova in the second round of the Kremlin Cup on Thursday.

Simona Halep at the 2021 US Open.
Simona Halep at the 2021 US Open.

Halep produced a good performance in the first round to move past Anastasia Potapova 6-1 6-4.

The Romanian has had a rough season, missing Roland Garros and Wimbledon due to a calf injury, and dropping out of the top 10, which ended a 373-week streak dating back to 2014.

Now, a couple of months into her comeback, Halep is showing signs of her former self but she's yet to reach her peak. She reached the fourth round of the US Open but was upset in the third round at Indian Wells by Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

The former World No. 1 will aim to build some momentum over the final few weeks of the season by doing well in Moscow.

Kudermetova at the 2021 Ostrava Open.
Kudermetova at the 2021 Ostrava Open.

Veronika Kudermetova, meanwhile, had to dig deep in her first-round match against compatriot Oksana Selekhmeteva. The Russian was pushed to the limit but eventually managed to prevail 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4 to progress to the second round.

Kudermetova had made a promising start to the season, reaching the final in Abu Dhabi and winning her maiden title at the Charleston Open. However, since reaching the semifinals of the Istanbul Open in April, she has not progressed to the quarterfinals of any event.

Kudermetova has enjoyed plenty of success in doubles though, winning the title in Istanbul along with reaching the finals at Wimbledon and Indian Wells.

Simona Halep vs Veronika Kudermetova head-to-head

Simona Halep and Veronika Kudermetova have played once before, with the Romanian leading the head-to-head 1-0. Halep won their only encounter at this year's Australian Open in straight sets.

Simona Halep vs Veronika Kudermetova prediction

Simona Halep at the BNP Paribas Open.
Simona Halep at the BNP Paribas Open.

Both players have contrasting styles of play. Halep is one of the best defensive players on the tour due to her athleticism, speed and endurance, but she's capable of playing attacking tennis when the need arises.

Kudermetova, on the other hand, is a highly aggressive player with powerful groundstrokes. She likes to take the ball early and finish off points at the net. The Russian is equipped with a good serve as well. But on an off-day she's prone to hitting quite a few double faults, which could prove costly against Halep, who is one of the best returners in the game.

The two-time Grand Slam winner is slowly building up the form that saw her become one of the sport's elite players. She's physically in great shape, and that'll give her the confidence to execute her gameplan to perfection.

Prediction: Simona Halep to win in straight sets.


Edited by Arvind Sriram
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