Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome QF preview + prediction
?? (1) Simona Halep vs. ?? Yulia Putintseva
The first quarter-final of the day at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia sees the top seeded Simona Halep take on an in-form Yulia Putintseva. Both players bring a heap of confidence into this match, Halep is on an 11-match winning streak whilst Putintseva is arguably in career best form.
Halep is easing her way into the tournament in Rome, a clear favourite to win the title heading into the business end of the event. Halep started the week with a 6-3 6-4 win over Jasmine Paolini before navigating her way past the dangerous Dayana Yastremska with a 7-5 6-4 victory. Halep is a two-time runner-up in Rome and will be keen to go one step better in 2020. The signs are good, the reigning Wimbledon champion is in great shape in all departments.
Putintseva arrived in Rome fresh from a quarter-final showing at the US Open. The 25-year-old has come through a couple of epic matches to reach the final 8 in Rome. The Kazakh started the event with an easy enough 6-2 6-4 win over Rebecca Peterson, then things got a complicated. A 6-3 6-7 6-4 win over the 8th seeded Petra Martic was followed by a 4-6 7-6 6-2 win over Elena Rybakina, Putintseva was down a set and 1-4 in her match with Rybakina before completing a memorable comeback.
The only previous meeting between the pair took place at the Australian Open earlier this year, Halep won 6-1 6-4.
I expect Halep to win this match comfortably. Firstly, this is a great match-up for Halep, Putintseva doesn’t have the weapons to hurt Halep, whilst Halep has the stamina to outlast Putintseva from the back of the court. There is no way through for Putintseva. Furthermore, Putintseva is coming off a pair of draining battles, she is surely running on empty having also just arrived in Europe after her deep run at the US Open. Meanwhile Halep is fresh and firing. Everything is in Halep’s favour.
Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Yulia Putintseva in 2 sets