Ana Konjuh vs Irina-Camelia Begu, Wimbledon R2 Preview

Wimbledon 🇬🇧💂🍓 Day 3, R2 Match Preview:
(27) 🇭🇷 Ana Konjuh vs 🇷🇴 Irina-Camelia Begu

In an interesting second round clash at SW19 on Wednesday sees the 27th seeded Ana Konjuh take on Romanian: Irina Camelia Begu. Konjuh and Begu both rocketed through their opening round clashes on Monday in straight sets. Ana Konjuh is one to look out for at Wimbledon, the young Croatian’s game is perfectly suited to grass and given the wide open nature of the draw there is potential for Konjuh to cause great damage over the next fortnight.

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Simona Halep vs Irina-Camelia Begu, Madrid QF Preview

Mutua Madrid Open QF: (6) Simona Halep vs Irina-Camelia Begu

Amazingly, there are 4 Romanian’s left in the draw heading into quarter-final day at the Mutua Madrid Open. The two highest ranked Romanian’s left in the draw will collide in the second quarter-final of the day when Simona Halep comes up against Irina-Camelia Begu. Simona Halep is the highest seed left in the draw and is a pretty strong favourite to win the title from here, it will be interesting to see if she can make the most of this opportunity and go one step better than 2014. 

Simona Halep has made a very strong start to her 2016 Madrid campaign. The Romanian has not lost more than 5 games in any of her first 3 matches at the Mutua Madrid Open. Simona started the week with comfortable straight set wins over Misaki Doi and Karin Knapp before booking her spot in the quarter-finals with a 6-2 6-3 win over Timea Bacsinszky. Halep has generally looked very good this week, perhaps this is the best 3 performances that she has put together in a while. Simona will be confident she can continue her claim for a maiden Mutua Madrid Open title when she comes up against Irina-Camelia Begu, an opponent she has a perfect 3-0 record against.


Irina-Camelia Begu’s route to a second straight quarter-final appearance in Madrid has been far less straightforward than Halep’s, Begu has come through 3 extremely tight matches, starting with a tough 6-4 3-6 6-4 win over Eugenie Bouchard before recording a surprise 5-7 7-6 6-4 win over Garbine Muguruza. Begu secured her place in the quarter-finals courtesy of a 6-7 6-4 6-4 win over Christina McHale. It was a good win for Begu who looked down and out when she trailed the American by a set and a break but somehow managed to regroup and get on top of McHale.

Halep holds a 3-0 head-to-head record over Begu. Only one of those matches was at tour level, a 6-4 6-2 win for Halep in Hobart back in 2012. Much has changed since then, Halep is generally a much better player these days.

I suspect Halep will once again get the better of Begu. Halep is a class above Begu, whilst Begu has done well to fight her way to the quarter-finals she is unlikely to have much success against a confident Halep. Halep’s superior movement is a big factor in this match-up, a strength that eliminates most of Begu’s weapons. It’s hard to picture a way for Begu to win this, apart from Halep having a very poor day. Halep should be too solid given the way she has been playing in her early matches. 

Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Irina-Camelia Begu in 2 sets

Christina McHale vs Irina-Camelia Begu, Madrid R3 Preview

Madrid R3: Christina McHale vs Irina-Camelia Begu

A huge opportunity to reach a rare premier-mandatory level quarter-final will present itself to Christina McHale and Irina-Camelia Begu when the two meet in a fascinating third round match-up at the Mutua Madrid Open on Wednesday. McHale and Begu have both built some decent form over the last couple of months and will both see this as a very winnable match, this should be a very close.

Christina McHale has overcome two difficult opponents in straight sets in order to advance to the third round at the Mutua Madrid Open for the first time in her career. The American started the week with a comprehensive 6-0 6-4 victory over Anna-Lena Friedsam before backing up that win with an even more impressive result: defeating Karolina Pliskova 7-6 6-4. McHale was the steadier opponent at the business end of each set, a good sign for a player that can be prone to becoming tight. It is good to see McHale playing well in Madrid after a significant victory over Sam Stosur in Fed Cup action a couple of weeks ago.


Irina-Camelia Begu is one win away from reaching back-to-back quarter-finals in Madrid. Begu has generally made a strong start to the clay court season, reaching the quarter-final in Charleston where she defeated Caroline Garcia and Monica Puig on route to the final 8. The Romanian has defeated another pair of high calibre opponents in Madrid on route to the third round. Begu started her Madrid campaign with a hard-fought 6-4 3-6 6-4 win over Eugenie Bouchard before recording her third career top 10 victory courtesy of a 5-7 7-6 6-3 win over Garbine Muguruza.

This will be the first tour level meeting between McHale and Begu and looms as a difficult match to predict a winner. Clay could be considered both players preferred surface given their results on clay over the last couple of seasons. Both players are in decent form heading into this match having defeated some quality opponents in recent weeks. I’m going to give McHale the slight edge because she is a big more consistent and should do well in this match-up because Begu will struggle to hit through the American. I think McHale’s recent form has been impressive and believe she can grind out a win here.

Prediction: Christina McHale to defeat Irina-Camelia Begu in 3 sets

Eugenie Bouchard vs Irina-Camelia Begu, Australian Open R4 Preview

(7) Eugenie Bouchard vs Irina-Camelia Begu

Sundays first match of the day on Rod Laver Arena sees seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard take on the unheralded Romanian, Irina-Camelia Begu. The draw has really opened up for the Canadian, so far she has taken full advantage and will look to continue that in this matchup.

Genie is yet to drop a set this week at Melbourne Park and has been tested in just one set throughout her first three victories.

That test came in the opening set of Genie's third round match against the dangerous Caroline Garcia. Bouchard was wayward for the majority of the set but she kept going after her shots and it eventually paid off as she took the opening set 7-5.

The second set was far more straightforward for Genie, things began to click for the Canadian as she cruised to a 7-5 6-0 victory. Bouchard has now reached the second week of a Grand Slam on five consecutive occasions, a good sign of consistency and professionalism.


Irina-Camelia Begu has been one of the fairytale stories at this year's Australian Open. Prior to this event, the 24 year old Romanian had never progressed past the second round at a major.

Begu arrived in Melbourne on the back of two disappointing first up exits, first in Shenzhen and then in qualifying at the Sydney International. No one would have expected the Romanian to reach the fourth round in Melbourne, probably not even herself.

Begu produced one of the upsets of the tournament in the opening round, stunning Angelique Kerber in three topsy-turvy sets. Begu reached the fourth round with an impressive 6-4 6-4 victory over Witthoeft.


Begu certainly has nothing to lose, she has exceeded all expectations this week and can be proud of her efforts regardless of Sunday's result.

This will be the first career meeting between these two competitors. Eugenie Bouchard will undoubtedly be the heavy favourite and should get the job done in straight sets.

Prediction: Eugenie Bouchard to defeat Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets