Simona Halep and Daria Gavrilova will meet in one of two second matches to be played at the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Tuesday
Gavrilova won her first round match on Monday, beating the rain and Annika Beck, 6-4 6-3. Beck had recovered from an early break down to go ahead *4-3 in the first set. However, Gavrilova won the last three games of the set and finished it off with two superb winners. Beck didn’t help her cause as the first serve went missing. Gavrilova threatened to lose her way in the second set from a break up but regained control, winning the last eight points to secure a solid win. The Aussie was rewarded for her superior serving (particularly on second serve) and willingness to go for her shots and be the aggressor.
Halep arrives in Montreal on a five match winning streak having won her home tournament in Bucharest ten days ago. The Romanian player was a set down to the world number 200, Barbora Krejcikova in her first round match but rallied to win in three sets. She dished out a double bagel to Anastasija Sevastova in a dominant display in the final. While the calibre of opponent may not have been top notch, it was a noteworthy result for Halep in front of her home crowd as she won her second title of 2016.
Head-to-head record: Halep and Gavrilova are tied at 1-1 in their head-to-head; both matches went the distance with Halep winning in Indian Wells in 2015 (2-6 6-1 6-2) but Gavrilova holding strong earlier this year in Rome (6-3 4-6 6-3). Gavrilova’s win over Halep in Rome was her best result of the year.
Interesting stat: After a disappointing start to the year that was riddled by various injuries and illnesses, Halep has posted an excellent slate of results with a 24-6 W-L record since Indian Wells. Also, for the second time this year Halep will follow up winning a title with playing Gavrilova in her very next match!
Final thoughts: Their two previous encounters pave the way for what should be a very entertaining second rounder. Gavrilova had a wobbly spell between the Australian Open and Miami earlier this year, but her form has generally improved since then. It is worth noting that in their last match in Rome, Halep arrived from Madrid as the champion with little chance for recovery. Gavrilova is a gutsy competitor and I do enjoy watching her on-court antics! I’d fancy Halep, who will have had a nice confidence boost after winning Bucharest and a week before Montreal to rest up, to come through for the win.