WTA Singapore, Day 1 Preview: Simona Halep v Eugenie Bouchard

Halep

Like the first match between Serena and Ana, the second match from the red group featuring Simona Halep and Eugenie Bouchard has some pretty bold question marks after both players pulled of their most recent tournaments with injuries.  Bouchard won her first match in Linz and then pulled out with a left leg injury.  In some pictures released from practice in Singapore, Bouchard still had strapping on the leg.  Halep caused some controversy in Beijing when she won her third round match against Andrea Petkovic, a really tough three setter that went to a third set tiebreak, and then pulled out of the tournament just a few hours later.  I can see it from both sides of the argument, but Halep was obviously saving herself for Singapore.

Bouchard doesn’t get enough credit for how remarkably well she has dealt with the attention this year.  Canada was the first time she looked to be struggling to deal with the pressure, which is completely understandable after the rapid rise to relevancy this year.  After winning just one match between Wimbledon and the US Open, Bouchard competed well at the US Open.  She was still several levels off her best, but she won a couple of tight three setters before heat, humidity and an inspired opponent in Ekaterina Makarova ended her pursuit of making semi-finals at all four Grand Slams in 2014.  She played her best tennis since Wimbledon in Wuhan where she was once again, stopped by Petra in the final.

Like Bouchard, Halep has made significant leaps at the Grand Slams this year, reaching the quarter-finals or better at three of the Slams and going all the way to the final at the French Open.  Since winning her second title of the year in Bucharest, Halep hasn’t made it past the quarter-finals in any of her last five tournaments.  A quarter-final loss to Maria Sharapova in Cincy, her third loss to the Russian player this year, seemed to knock the wind out of her sails and affect her confidence on court.  Add to that Halep has dealt with many niggly injuries, which have become more and more significant as the year has progressed.

If both players are close to full fitness, this should be a fascinating encounter.  The pair have only played each other on two occasions, but this match-up looks to be one that could have plenty of longevity.  Halep won their first encounter at Indian Wells, 6-2 1-6 6-4.  It was a reasonable match in terms of quality, but it certainly screamed potential.  In their most recent match, Bouchard earnt her first win over Halep in the semi-finals of Wimbledon, 7-6(5) 6-2.  In that match, Halep injured her ankle so that may have had an impact on the outcome.

There are so many caveats when it comes to this match.  Both are competing at the YEC for the first time in their career… who will deal with the situation better? Are they both recovered from their injuries? Halep has the more question marks, but I feel that in this match-up, her versatility will give her the edge.  If she is fully fit and it is a big if, i’m backing Halep.

Prediction: Halep d. Bouchard in 3 sets

8 thoughts on “WTA Singapore, Day 1 Preview: Simona Halep v Eugenie Bouchard

    • We don’t know yet that they aren’t, to be honest. Injuries often get blown out of proportion. They could both be brilliant tomorrow.
      I do think that Bouchard has a stronger game though.

      Like

      • I like them both, and I hope they both do well in the coming years. Right now, I feel a fit Halep has the edge. I mainly base this on IW but also on Wimbledon, where a hampered Simona played a very close first set on Genie’s favorite surface. The surface at the finals appears to be quite a bit slower, from what I read.

        Like

  1. I don’t see Halep winning any match in the group stage. All girls are better this year so only really bad performance of her rival can bring the positive result. I like her style but she doesn’t play well this season.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.