WTA Indian Wells, Final Preview: Simona Halep v Jelena Jankovic

JankovicI had my Saturday morning all planned out to watch the second of the semi-finals between Serena Williams and Simona Halep without knowing the result.  I was gutted to find the match not available on TennisTV with the word “withdrawn” next to Serena’s name.  I’m pleased to hear that Serena’s announcement went down without any issues on Stadium 1.  Despite that disappointment, I am super excited about the 2015 BNP Paribas Open final, which will be contested between Simona Halep and Jelena Jankovic.

Jankovic came from a set and a break down to beat Sabine Lisicki in the semi-finals, 3-6 6-3 6-1.  All of Jankovic’s five wins against Lisicki have come in three sets and it ended on a low point with a Lisicki double fault.  It had all started so well for Sabine.  She played a strong first set as she dominated from the baseline, but also had some margin on her shots.  There were a couple of great cat-and-mouse points, but Jankovic never really got going.  Even at the beginning of the second set, Jankovic was quite passive and was allowing Lisicki to dominate.  Lisicki deservedly went up a break of serve in the second set.  However, the tide started to turn… Jankovic started to get into a few more rallies and find the magic on her backhand.  Up a break at *3-2, a second serve shank from Lisicki (see below) seemed to be a bit of a turning point as Lisicki lost her concentration a little as Jankovic went on to win four straight games and the set.  Jankovic carried that momentum into the decider as Lisicki fell away…

Kudos to Sabine for a great week that should *hopefully* turn her year around.  One thing I notice when Sabine starts winning is that she has a lot of fans out there and they deserved some joy! Moving onto the final between Jankovic and Halep, this should be a really fascinating encounter.  Halep leads the head-to-head against Jankovic, 3-1.  Halep has won their last three matches, but all their matches have gone the distance.  In fact, their first three matches finished with 7-5 or 7-6 scorelines in the deciding set.

Both Halep and Jankovic have played their fair share of three setters this week.  Halep was pushed to three sets against Daria Gavrilova (2-6 6-1 6-2, R2), Varvara Lepchenko (6-1 3-6 6-1, R3) and Carla Suarez Navarro (5-7 6-1 6-1, QF).  Excluding the retirement against Lesia Tsurenko, all of Jankovic’s matches have gone the distance and she has come back from a set down in three of her four completed matches.  Halep hasn’t played since Wednesday, which I don’t think will help her cause.  Halep will be seeking her first Premier Mandatory title which is a big deal and will come with added pressure.  However, Halep has fought her way through some tricky moments and will have confidence, riding the wave of a nine match winning streak.  Jankovic loves these conditions but my feeling is that Halep, who could start slow, will eventually prevail to take the title in the desert.

Great match, ladies.  I’m REALLY looking forward to this one.

Prediction: Halep d. Jankovic in 3 sets

Poll results: There were over 500 votes in the Serena-Simona poll with 65% of readers going for Simona.  In the other poll, 45% went for Jelena over Sabine… i’m a little surprised that Sabine came out on top, but as I said above, she has plenty of fans and is very dangerous on a rool so I can understand it.

27 thoughts on “WTA Indian Wells, Final Preview: Simona Halep v Jelena Jankovic

  1. Devastated by Serena withdrawing. I wonder if she’ll play Miami still?
    Anyway I can’t see Halep losing here since sje plays a similar game to Jankovic, just better in every way…

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  2. So disappointing that the SF didn’t take place. I think everyone was looking forward to that one!

    If Simona plays well, I don’t see her losing the final although there have been some dramatic matches between these 2 in the past. Hopefully, tomorrow it will be a more straightforward win for Simona in 2 sets.

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  3. A WO handed by Serena makes the credibility of Halep potential win in the final very low. It looks like a one sided final but who knows!! Jelena may be happier to play Halep than Serena in the final.

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  4. I am so surprised that Simona’s fans are not here to flood the blog. I have seen them coming out from woodwork to attack anyone if Simona’s name is mentioned.

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    • Sorry for our peace . This morning we had to buy champagne to celebrate tonight. Most retailers have used up and had to wait in long lines .

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  5. Dear Luke,

    The fact that Simona did not play Serena does not make us start flooding this blog and jump for joy assuming that the title is hers. Wrong 🙂 ? That’s unfortunate as we would have liked her to play the semi and show what she can be capable of in front of Serena.

    As for the final tonight, Simo sounded confident in her chance to win the IW final for which she has to fight hard nevertheless. I am very much aware of the statistics of their previous encounters that extended to a deciding set and of the fact the Simo did not always play to her full potential (not getting into technicalities now). But she found a way to get through and that proves her champ value.

    What’s promising to me is that she is going to do everyting on court to hold that throphy in the name of a heavy heart (cousin’s tragic loss).

    Wish you all enjoy tonight’s/ afternoon match (for some of you) – in all corners of the world and come back with your thoughts of this final afterwards.

    As for me … roooting for Simo all the way!

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  6. Of course, Luke aka Sudut, don t worry. We are here to remind you all who let Serena reach the final in Singapore last year. And how excited is Simona when it comes to play with her. Ans so we are, her fans, as we respect Simona for its fairplay and unique character. Therefore, please restrain yourself from being rude. By the way, as I said you with other ocassions you are everywhere, everytime, so I dont understand your concerns, you seem to bother more than Serena s fans. Take a break and mind your business or Serena s business, she seems to face more problems these days.

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  7. The fact that Simona didn’t play since Wednesday will make Jelena a favorite to take the first set.
    It all depends on how long would it take. If it would be a short one, about 30 min. or so, the trend could well carry on in the second.
    Adding to Halep’s growing frustration, Jamkovic could somehow win it.
    If the first set will take longer than 45 min., allowing Halep to settle in, than Jankovic would be doomed.

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  8. Have you missed us, Luke/ Sudut or whoever you are ? Do not wish for things that could happen . (us flooding all over this blog as you’were assuming)…

    What we know is the Simo is going to make it happen … title a couple of hours away ….

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  9. Luke, keep your racist comments for yourself.
    As far as I know the Romanians are having a long history behind. They came out from the woods way before the Americans:)

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  10. So we are barbarians …. in your opinion? Interesting as you do not want to argue but have no issue at all addressing to us in a rude way.

    Pointless discussion

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  11. Was I rude, instigating to something James, in my previous posts? Maybe I was a bit ironic, nevertheless I consider myself to be a respectful person and would never start categorizing people according to their nationality, language, race, colour etc.

    Appreciate you took the he time to reply and having deleted offensive remarks.

    Wish you enjoy tonight’s final 🙂

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    • No Anca, not at all, I was referring to another comment that someone else made in your direction that I felt overstepped the mark. Comments have been a bit manic this week so I haven’t had the chance to respond to many as I like to normally. I do read them all and will remove any that I deem to be offensive and/or disrespectful.

      Now let’s get back to the tennis… Enjoy the final 🙂

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    • Te-ai gândit o clipă că Luke, Sudut şi… James sunt una şi aceeaşi persoană? Omul îşi troll-ează singur blog-ul pentru trafic… Urât.

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  12. Sorry about being perhaps a bit off-topic. I just wanted to say that Serena had a hard time getting over Monica Niculescu, as she is Romania’s racket nr. 3 or 4. After Halep, Begu and perhaps Dulgheru.
    Foreseeing that Simona wins today, I’ll say she will withdraw from Miami next week.
    Therefore will Serena win at home in Miami with no contender that has won over her the last year or so…

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      • I think she will… she’ll want to be fresh for the clay season, since she isn’t likely to have a successful summer hard court season, the courts are too fast for her.

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  13. Luke, I have been reading this post for a while. My apology to get you into trouble. I didn’t know you become a target of these desperadoes because of me. They just want attention like a child. They will stop crying when you ignore them. They think tennis is all about Simona (pusher). It’s like there are no other players in existence. Do you know that she is 0-3 to Penetta? So she should thank Lisicki for that, and of course Queen Serena gifted her the final. You are right, the credibility of this year IW final championship for women’s singles is indeed very low.

    By the way, we should respect the owner and other users of this blog. Please stop trolling and responding to any of Halep’s aggressive fans. We shouldn’t wasting our times to deal with irrational people. Let’s enjoy tennis. Empress JJ may give us another surprise again if she is not fatigued.

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  14. Another factor to consider regarding the final is that Jankovic pushes the rules to the limit. She speaks continuously to his brother and will fake the serve multiple times by throwing the ball and catching it back.
    In order to break the opponent’s concentration especially when she’s facing break points. She did that against Lisicki.
    I don’t know how much would that weigh in but it will certainly be something to consider…

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