After the rain on Monday, there has been plentyyy of tennis to get stuck into on Tuesday. In the first match on Centre Court, Jelena Jankovic defeated Caroline Garcia in straight sets, 7-6(4) 6-2. The first set didn’t feature a break point! After Garcia’s wayward loss to Nicole Gibbs in Stanford, this was an improved performance. However, the cracks were still there in the crucial moments. In the first set tiebreak, errors from Garcia helped Jankovic to win the tiebreak seven points to four. There was one point I remember where Jankovic gave Garcia no pace at all and it really worked. The Frenchwoman opened set two with a break but couldn’t maintain it as Jankovic won six of the last seven games.
In the second round, Jankovic faces Simona Halep. This will be a fascinating match-up as Halep plays her first match since Wimbledon where she lost in the first round to Jana Cepelova. It was a worrying loss as Halep committed so many errors and looked lost towards the end. After an early loss at the French Open as well to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, it marked what had been a season of two halves for Halep as she looked so assured during the first three months of the year, posting a 24-2 W-L record and winning three titles on the hard courts.
The Halep-Jankovic head-to-head is a fun one; Halep leads 4-1 and all five of their matches have gone the distance. Their last match in the final of Indian Wells had pretty much everything (see match recap HERE). Halep was distinctly lacklustre for a set and a half but somehow managed to fight back and win her biggest title. Jankovic started strong but faded rather rapidly, throwing in a shocker when she served for the Championship.
On one hand, Jankovic has many matches under her belt after winning Nanchang and playing a match already in Toronto will help her. Halep comes in without a win since Birmingham and seemingly little confidence. However, Halep has been superb on the hard courts this year and a break to recharge the batteries will probably have done her good. Also, the thought of Jankovic serving for the match against Halep after Indian Wells makes me shiver…
Still, i’m going with my original instinct….
Prediction: Jankovic d. Halep in 3 sets