Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Prediction
?? (1) Simona Halep vs. ?? Elise Mertens
View my match preview for this match: click here
This looms as a big test for Halep in her quest to become the first player to win the Mutua Madrid Open on 3 occasions. The 2-time defending champion made an outstanding start to the event with a 51 minute demolition of Ekaterina Makarova in the first round but is unlikely to have things as easy when she takes on Mertens who is on an 11-match winning streak which includes back-to-back titles on clay.
I’m going to give the edge to Halep here. I think Halep has the type of game to handle Mertens, especially in Madrid where the conditions are perfect for the Romanian. Mertens is a great counter-puncher but in this match-up Mertens will need to be the aggressor and that will not end well for the Belgian unless she plays a flawless match. I think Mertens has to be somewhat fatigued after a long week in Rabat whilst Halep is fresh and ready to go, a bad formula for Mertens. Halep’s relentless pressure will eventually cause cracks in the Mertens game, expect Halep to be too strong in the important moments.