Date: July 4, 2022.
Tournament: Wimbledon 2022.
Round: Fourth round (Round of 16).
Venue: London, United Kingdom.
Category: Grand Slam.
Prize money: £40,350,000.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | Canada - TSN | UK - BBC & Eurosport | India - Star Sports & Disney+ Hotstar.
Paula Badosa vs Simona Halep preview
World No. 4 Paula Badosa and former champion Simona Halep will square off in a blockbuster fourth-round showdown at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships on Monday.
Badosa made a brilliant start to the season with the title in Sydney and then followed it up with a run to the last 16 at the Australian Open. Although she briefly lost her way, she came alive once again in North America, reaching the semifinals in Indian Wells and the quarterfinals in Miami and Charleston.
The European clay season, however, turned out to be poor with a semifinal in Stuttgart being her only notable result.
Badosa unfortunately suffered a calf injury during her third-round match at Roland Garros, forcing her to retire. The injury limited the fourth seed to just one Wimbledon warm-up tournament in Eastbourne, where she lost her first match.
However, back at the grasscourt Major, Badosa seems to have found her range. The Spaniard hasn't lost a set in three outings so far, with her latest win coming over reigning Eastbourne champion Petra Kvitova.
Badosa recorded a tight 7-5, 7-6 (4) win over the two-time Wimbledon winner. The result and performance would have tremendously boosted her confidence ahead of what could be a difficult match against Halep.
Former World No. 1 Halep, meanwhile, has been on a resurgent run this season after an injury-riddled 2021. The Romanian won the Melbourne Summer Set 1 title before losing to Alize Cornet in the fourth round of the Australian Open.
She also made the semifinals in Dubai and Indian Wells on hardcourts, followed by a quarterfinal appearance on clay in Madrid.
The two-time Grand Slam champion has also enjoyed a successful grasscourt swing so far. With semifinal appearances in Birmingham and Bad Homburg, the 30-year-old established herself as one of the early contenders for the Wimbledon title.
Back at SW19, the 2019 champion has continued her smooth progress to reach the fourth round of the grasscourt Major for the fifth time in her career. Halep hasn't dropped a set so far, losing just 19 games on her way to the second week of Wimbledon.
Paula Badosa vs Simona Halep head-to-head
Simona Halep has a 1-0 lead over Paula Badosa, having beaten the Spaniard 6-3, 6-1 in Madrid earlier this year.
Paula Badosa vs Simona Halep odds
(All odds are sourced from Oddschecker)
Paula Badosa vs Simona Halep prediction
With both having performed well so far at this year's Wimbledon, this match has all the makings of a classic.
Having edged the in-form Petra Kvitova on grass, Paula Badosa will be brimming with confidence coming into this match. She held her nerves and withstood 34 winners from the Czech to pick up a hard-fought win.
The Spaniard controlled her own aggression smartly, producing 16 winners to 11 unforced errors. However, she needs improvements in two key areas before facing Simona Halep: her first serve percentage (59%) and break point conversion (2/9).
Being a brilliant returner, Halep won't hesitate to pounce on Badosa's second serve if she starts missing her first serves. The Romanian is highly experienced on grass and has a well-rounded game that suits the surface.
Her speed and smooth movement will give her the edge over Badosa in their upcoming contest. Halep has admittedly added more offense to her strokes, which was evident from the 24 winners she struck against Magdalena Frech in her most recent match.
She also made 21 forays into the net, winning 14 of those points. The Romanian will look to move forward in her next match too by pinning Badosa at the baseline whenever she senses the opportunity.
The only way to stop Halep is to blast her off the court with a series of booming serves and blistering winners. That's easier said than done for Badosa, considering her limited experience on grass.
Pick: Simona Halep to win in three sets.