Simona Halep vs. Ekaterina Makarova, Madrid R1 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open R1 Preview
?? (1) Simona Halep vs. ?? Ekaterina Makarova

Two-time defending champion Simona Halep will begin her 2018 Madrid campaign with a potentially tricky first round clash against Ekaterina Makarova. Madrid has proven to be Halep’s best tournament over the last few years, the reasonably quick clay court conditions are perfect for the Romanian’s game. Makarova has beaten Halep a couple of times before, can the Russian cause a huge opening round upset?

Simona Halep of Romania practices at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Halep arrives in Madrid on the back of a couple of disappointing results. Halep started the year in style but her results of late have not been up to the standards of a world number 1. Halep started her clay court season in Stuttgart where she suffered a shocking straight set exit at the hands of CoCo Vandeweghe at the quarter-final stage. Halep has lost 3 of her last 5 matches at the tour level. The good news for Halep is that she has a remarkable record in Madrid, Halep is the two-time defending champion and also reached the final in 2014.

Makarova has been one of the tour’s biggest disappointments in 2018, the Russian is having one of her worst seasons in recent times. Amazingly Makarova is yet to win back-to-back matches in 2018, very surprising given how consistent Makarova usually is. Makarova arrives in Madrid on the back of a disappointing opening round loss in Rabat last week where she suffered a 3 set loss to Aleksandra Krunic.

Halep holds a 4-2 H2H record over Makarova. Halep won their most recent match 6-3 6-0 in Doha earlier this year. This will be their first career meeting on a clay court.

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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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