Simona Halep vs Kristina Mladenovic, Madrid Final Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, Final Preview + Prediction
(3) 🇷🇴 Simona Halep vs (14) 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic

Simona Halep is just one win away from successfully defending her title at the Mutua Madrid Open, the Romanian third seed will come up against Kristina Mladenovic in Saturday’s final. Surprisingly, Mladenovic holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Halep and comfortably beat Halep a couple of months ago in Indian Wells. It will be interesting to see if a resurgent Simona Halep can flip that result and successfully defend her title.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova vs Kristina Mladenovic, Madrid SF Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, Semi-Final Preview + Prediction
SF #2: (8) 🇷🇺 Svetlana Kuznetsova vs (14) 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic

Friday’s second semi-final from the Mutua Madrid Open promises to be a tight contest between Svetlana Kuznetsova and Kristina Mladenovic. Both ladies will enter this semi-final full of confidence, both survived early round scares in Madrid before powering through their last couple of matches to confirm a semi-final showdown. Kuznetsova and Mladenovic have been two of the most consistent players on tour over the last couple of months, all signs point to a very competitive match.

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Simona Halep vs Anastasija Sevastova, Madrid SF Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, Semi-Final Preview + Prediction
SF #1: (3) 🇷🇴 Simona Halep vs 🇱🇻 Anastasija Sevastova

Friday’s first semi-final of the day at the Mutua Madrid Open sees defending champion Simona Halep come up against this week’s shock semi-finalist, Anastasija Sevastova. Simona Halep is playing her best tennis of 2017 over the last couple of weeks, growing in confidence with every win. Halep crushed Sevastova in straight sets a couple of weeks ago in Stuttgart and will be hoping for a similar result here, an in form Sevastova will have other ideas.

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Simona Halep vs Samantha Stosur, Madrid R3 Preview

🇪🇸 Mutua Madrid Open, R3 Preview
(3) 🇷🇴 Simona Halep vs (16) 🇦🇺 Samantha Stosur

Simona Halep survived an almighty scare in her second round clash against Roberta Vinci on Tuesday. Halep found herself down 2-5 in the deciding third set but managed to win 5 of the last 6 games, running away with the decisive tiebreaker to claim a hard-fought 6-3 2-6 7-6 win. Halep’s title defence continues on Wednesday when she takes on Samantha Stosur, an opponent the Romanian has a good recent record against.

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Angelique Kerber vs Eugenie Bouchard, Madrid R3 Preview

🇪🇸 Mutua Madrid Open, R3 Preview
(1) 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber vs 🇨🇦 Eugenie Bouchard

Eugenie Bouchard produced one of her best performances in the last couple of years to come past Maria Sharapova in an epic second round encounter in Madrid. There was a huge amount of hype surrounding Bouchard’s showdown with Sharapova and it delivered, Bouchard won a marathon match 7-5 2-6 6-4, a match that lasted just under three hours. Things will not get any easier for Bouchard, the Canadian faces the top seeded Angelique Kerber in the third round on Wednesday.

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Laura Siegemund vs CoCo Vandeweghe, Madrid R2 Preview

🇪🇸 Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Match Preview
🇩🇪 Laura Siegemund vs 🇺🇸 CoCo Vandeweghe

A fascinating second round clash at the Mutua Madrid Open on Tuesday sees Laura Siegemund come up against CoCo Vandeweghe in what is sure to a feisty encounter. Siegemund is one of the form players on tour at the moment after winning the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. Siegemund is one of those players that almost exclusively play their best tennis on clay, her ability on the dirt was again showcased in a gutsy 3-6 7-5 6-4 win over Johanna Konta in the opening round in Madrid.

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Simona Halep vs Roberta Vinci, Madrid R2 Preview

🇪🇸 Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Match Preview
(3) 🇷🇴 Simona Halep vs 🇮🇹 Roberta Vinci

Simona Halep will continue her title defence at the Mutua Madrid Open on Tuesday with a potentially tricky second round clash against Roberta Vinci. The conditions in Madrid suit Halep perfectly, the Romanian has stated that she feels right at home on the Manolo Santana Court and looms as the favourite to win the title this week and go back-to-back at the premier-mandatory event.

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Angelique Kerber vs Katerina Siniakova, Madrid R2 Preview

🇪🇸 Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Match Preview
(1) 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber vs 🇨🇿 Katerina Siniakova

Angelique Kerber started her Mutua Madrid Open campaign with a solid straight set win over Timea Babos, the 6-4 6-2 win was Kerber’s first victory in Madrid in 2013 and meant that she will again be world number 1 when the new rankings come out next week. Kerber will be back In action on Monday when she takes on Katerina Siniakova in the second round, a potentially dangerous match for Kerber, especially on a clay court (Kerber's worst surface). 

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Maria Sharapova vs Eugenie Bouchard, Madrid R2 Preview

🇪🇸 Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Match Preview
(wc) 🇷🇺 Maria Sharapova vs 🇨🇦 Eugenie Bouchard

A much anticipated second round clash at the Mutua Madrid Open sees Maria Sharapova come up against Eugenie Bouchard. This is sure to be a fiery match after Eugenie Bouchard recently labelled Sharapova a “cheat” and said she believes the Russian should be banned from the sport for life. Both ladies will no doubt be extra motivated heading into this match and would love nothing more than a victory here.

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Dominika Cibulkova vs Simona Halep, Mutua Madrid Open Final Preview

Mutua Madrid Open Final: Dominika Cibulkova vs (6) Simona Halep

Dominika Cibulkova and Simona Halep cruised through their semi-final matches on Friday, each dropping just 2 games to set up a blockbuster final at the 2016 Mutua Madrid Open. Cibulkova and Halep have both gone through some tough times in the last year, to win such a big title would be hugely rewarding for both women. This should be an extremely close match, between two very evenly matched competitors.

 

Dominika Cibulkova is finally starting to show some consistency in recent weeks, winning 12 of her last 13 matches (including a title in Katowice). The Slovakian’s route to the final in Madrid has been extremely tough, Dominika went the distance in 4 of her 5 matches and was forced to come from a set down on 3 occasions. Cibulkova notably knocked out the top seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the first round and has also recorded significant victories over Caroline Garcia, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Sorana Cirstea. Cibulkova’s semi-final match was refreshingly straightforward, requiring just under an hour to dismiss Louisa Chirico, claiming a commanding 6-1 6-1 win over the American. Cibulkova will be aiming for her first career clay court title on Saturday when she comes up against Simona Halep, an opponent she has a winning record against.

Simona Halep enters Saturday’s final full of confidence after a 6-2 6-0 semi-final demolition of Sam Stosur in just 50 minutes. Stosur was not at her best but Halep produced a near flawless performance to advance to her 7th career premier mandatory final. The Romanian has generally been untroubled all week on route to the final and is arguably playing the best tennis she has played all year. Simona has just dropped just 1 set this week (in her quarter-final match with Irina-Camelia Begu), otherwise, Simona has not dropped more than 5 games in any of her other matches. Simona will need to maintain a high level in Saturday’s final if she is to claim her first Madrid title by overcoming an opponent she has a negative head-to-head record against, a good test for the Romanian. 

 

Dominika Cibulkova holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Halep. The pair have not met since their quarter-final clash at the Australian Open in 2014, Cibulkova thumped Halep on that occasion, recording a 6-3 6-0 win on route to her first career Grand Slam final. Halep did however win their only previous match on clay court, a 3 set win in Brussels (2012).

This promises to be a high quality, tightly contested final between two seemingly evenly matched players, a difficult match to predict an outcome. I’m going to give the slight edge to the Slovakian. There is little to separate the pair from a tennis perspective, both are fantastic movers, both can defend, both have punishing groundstrokes and an ability to mix up play from the baseline. If anything, Cibulkova has slightly more firepower and variety. The difference could be Cibulkova’s superior mental toughness. Cibulkova is always a gutsy competitor and will not hesitate to be brave when the match is on the line, the same can’t be said with confidence about Halep who has consistently shown mental fragility in recent months. In a tight match, this could be the key difference.

Prediction: Dominika Cibulkova to defeat Simona Halep in 3 sets