WTA Stuttgart, Semi-Final Preview: Simona Halep v Caroline Wozniacki

HalepThe first of the semi-finals in Stuttgart on Saturday at 12.30pm UK time will feature the two highest seeds from the bottom half, Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki.  Halep faced a tough first match in Stuttgart against Garbine Muguruza.  She survived, producing an excellent comeback to record her first ever win against the Spaniard, 3-6 6-1 6-3.  Muguruza had points for a 3-0 double break lead in the decider and also had a break point at 3-3; however it was Halep’s invention and adaptability that saw her prevail.  Muguruza’s hard hitting game will continue to see her create opportunities against the best players on tour, but she has yet to work a plan B into her game.  In the quarter-finals, Halep defeated Sara Errani, 6-4 6-4.  The match featured 16 breaks of serve with the pair winning just 34% of first serves in the first set.  It’s a common misconception that breaks of serve add up to a poor quality match.  By all accounts, this was a good un’.

Wozniacki has already doubled her clay court wins from 2014 with two victories in Stuttgart to reach the semi-finals.  Both wins were impressive results for Wozniacki as she defeated Lucie Safarova in the second round, 7-6(5) 6-1 and Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarter-finals, 6-0 6-3.  I love that most of the talk during Caro’s match on Twitter was about her wearing a headband.  I must admit, it really does suit her!

Wozniacki, who is working with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario during the clay court season, has made a solid yet unspectacular start to the year.  Although clay hasn’t been a great surface for her in the past, there are great opportunities for her to claim ranking points during this stage of the season where, as mentioned above, she barely won a match in 2014 due to injury.

Halep leads Wozniacki in the head-to-head, 2-1.  Their last match in Dubai earlier this year saw Halep prevail, 2-6 6-1 6-1.  Wozniacki was struggling with illness in that match, while Halep has been playing with much more confidence since then.  Halep has won 17 of her last 18 matches and looks to be in a great place right now heading into what should be her most favoured period of the year on clay.  Wozniacki has played some good ball this week and i’d fancy her to win a set in this match.  Halep looked to be clutching her side in her match against Muguruza, but I don’t think she would play if it really was an issue.  I believe that Halep’s confidence and suitability to this surface will see her come through to reach a first final in Stuttgart.

Prediction: Halep d. Wozniacki in 3 sets

33 thoughts on “WTA Stuttgart, Semi-Final Preview: Simona Halep v Caroline Wozniacki

  1. I’d usually go with Halep. I think she’s a better clay courter. A better player all round. But Wozniacki has got clay fever it seems and I think this new confidence will push her ahead here.

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    • Not a surprise though I don’t think Martina is the one at fault… Radwanska just can’t live with the quality of todays returner’s and big hitters.

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      • Halep lost and Caro won. I never said Caro won a slam, but her resume is way better than Halep’s. And they about 1 year apart. Halep played six 250 tournaments with players ranking 80 and below to get where she’s at.

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      • The majority of Caro’s titles are smaller events (non Mandatory/Five events) too, though. The only real difference in Wozniacki’s 2010/2011 season and Halep’s 2013-present is that Caroline was rankled number 1 for quite a long time. But she wasn’t competing against Serena Williams. Her biggest rival was Zvonereva.

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  2. i don‘t think Caroline can beat Simona on clay and it would be a surprise if she can manage to win this semi.i incline to see Halep win this tournament first time in her career.

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  3. On paper Halep is the favorite to win it. Though I doubt she can overcome Woz and Kerber in a row after all these matches she played this year. She’ll fall to either of those two, but today will be even harder cuz’ she’s still a bit rusty too…

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  4. Clay isn’t one of Caroline’s best surfaces,though I must admit I am surprised and delighted with her matches so far in this tournament,Halep is too strong of a clay court player overall,though I would not be surprised if Halep has a bit of a let down,Caroline could take a set off her.

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  5. I know people think Caro is not good on clay. I actually she will soon realize that clay is her chance to win something big. First of all, clay suits counter punchers and pushers with a bit of attacking power like her. Secondly, she has slimmed down if you notice in this tournament. She is quicker and she comes to the net often than before. On paper is Halep but I think Caro can win too. Please do not forget that Halep got broken so many times by Sara. Let’s not look at the scores, Sara actually beaten by her own service games. Halep’s serves were ok and she got broken. If Caro hits the way she did to CSN, Halep is out. I go with Caro this time.

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  6. The main reason that Caroline hasn’t mastered clay,she dosen’t slide laterally well,really a requirement if you want to do well on clay,Caroline’s overall game does suit clay,still overall her results have been better on HC so far in her career.

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    • The important thing of winning a match is “form” on that particular moment. CSN is brought up from the clay environment and she lost to Caro. I think all the professional players know sliding. The key is when to execute the right shots to win points. As I say, on paper is Halep but Caro has equal chance to win. For one thing, Halep is not unbeatable. She did not get to play the right player to beat her in the last few tournaments due to inconsistency of other players. If Sara Errani could broke her in ever service game in their first set, Halep is not that good on clay either.

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  7. No not all players on clay slide well on both sides at all.I was brought up on clay btw,if you look at Sharapova for example she slides well on her bhand wing,though she dosent slide well on her fhand wing,Halep really exposed that at last years RG when she directed lovely angles out wide to Sharapova’s fhand wing,and she usually got the error most of the time.

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    • But she slot to Maria..whichever way in RG 🙂 It is about how well they play at this level and at a particular moment. Like I said before, Halep got broken by Sara in every single game but Sara lost the match!

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  8. Halep slides well laterally on both wings,she can turn defense into offensive,which on clay is a must,she can also create lovely angles off both wings,she also used the whole court to her advantage,being brought up on clay you learn to open up the whole court and use it to your advantage.

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  9. I’m not a Halep fan. But, she seems like an unstoppable force when she gets in her groove. She always seems to find a way to win and I just don’t think Wozniacki will be enough to stop her.

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  10. IMO, Halep is the technically better player here. It will come down to Caroline’s confidence levels and willingness to attack. That way, she will keep Simona guessing cause unlike Carla, Simona can manage high bouncing balls coming at her. Caroline has to go for her shots, there is no other way. My Head says Halep, my heart is with Caroline.

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  11. Halep is not unbeatable. She is young and she can run around the court. When she plays with someone like Caro, anything can happen. I was right, she is out!

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