Simona Halep vs Jana Cepelova, Roland Garros R1 Preview

Roland Garros, ??? R1 Preview + Prediction
(3) ?? Simona Halep vs ?? Jana Cepelova

Simona Halep enters Roland Garros 2017 as the outright favourite to win the tournament, the first time Halep has been in such as position heading into a Grand Slam event. Halep’s form in the lead up to Roland Garros was strong, Halep won the title in Madrid before reaching the final in Rome. Unfortunately for Halep her Rome campaign ended in the worst possible fashion, a fresh injury concern which has potential to derail her Roland Garros campaign, it will be interesting to see what kind of shape Halep is in when she comes up against Slovakian Jana Cepelova in the first round in Paris on Tuesday.

2014 Roland Garros runner-up Simona Halep will be looking to go one step further in 2017. Halep gained the momentum and confidence she needed in the lead-up to Paris as she reached the semi-finals in Stuttgart, won the title in Madrid and reached the final in Rome. At her best, Halep is probably the best player on clay on tour at this moment, hence her position as the favourite heading into the second Grand Slam of the year.

Jana Cepelova has generally struggled in 2017 but did have a decent result on clay a few weeks ago where she reached the semi-finals in Istanbul. The good news for Cepelova is that she has proven to be capable of beating the very best in the world, Cepelova announced herself to the tour with a win over Serena Williams in Charleston in 2014 and upset Garbine Muguruza at Wimbledon last year. Importantly, Cepelova beat Halep at Wimbledon in 2015, so she can bring some hope into her first round meeting with the Romanian.

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The head-to-head record between Halep and Cepelova is split at 1 win apiece. Both of their previous matches were at the Grand Slam level, Halep beat Cepelova 6-2 6-1 at the U.S Open in 2014, more recently Cepelova shocked Halep at Wimbledon in 2015 with a 5-7 6-4 6-3 win.

Halep will be wary of Cepelova heading into this match given the pain she would have felt when she was beaten by the Slovakian at Wimbledon in 2015. Halep played outstanding tennis in the lead-up to Paris and is the rightful favourite heading into the tournament, the only question mark is whether she has fully recovered from an ankle injury she sustained in the final in Rome. Reports are that Halep is fine and therefore she will be far too strong for Cepelova, an opponent Halep does everything better than.

Prediction: (3) Simona Halep to defeat Jana Cepelova in 2 sets

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