Simona Halep vs Shelby Rogers, Australian Open R1 Preview

Australian Open, ?? First Round Match preview
(4) ?? Simona Halep vs ?? Shelby Rogers

Simona Halep begins her 2017 Australian Open with a potentially dangerous first clash with American Shelby Rogers. The Romanian suffered a shock first round loss at Melbourne Park last year, succumbing to Shuai Zhang in straight sets. Halep will be hoping for a much-improved showing in Melbourne on this occasion and has a lot of points to gain over the next fortnight.

Simona Halep is well prepared for the next fortnight in Melbourne. The Romanian spent most of the off-season training in Adelaide, Australia and is looking as fit as ever heading into the first Grand Slam of the year. Halep is a two-time former quarter-finalist in Melbourne and will be hoping to go a couple of steps better than that in 2017. Halep did however make a disappointing start to the season, the world number 4 succumbed at the second round stage in Shenzhen, beaten by eventual champion Katerina Siniakova in three sets after she beat Jelena Jankovic in three sets in the first round.

Shelby Rogers has made a good start to the season, upsetting Eugenie Bouchard in Brisbane before losing a tight second round clash to Elina Svitolina. Rogers then went on to reach the quarter-final stage in Hobart where she was defeated by Lesia Tsurenko in three sets. The American’s best result of her career took place last year when she reached the quarter-final stage a Roland Garros, a confidence boosting result for Rogers that tells herself she is capable of causing damage at the Grand Slam level.

Simona Halep won the only previous meeting between the pair, a comfortable 6-2 6-3 win at the U.S Open in 2015. Shelby Rogers has a set of big weapons that can trouble most players, but her lack of consistency means that her level of threat to Simona Halep is quite low. The American’s best can put pressure on Halep, especially if she is serving well, however Halep is far more consistent and in far greater shape. Halep will have the ability to move Rogers around the court and expose the American’s far inferior movement. Rogers has been in good form early in the season and could push this to a third set but Simona will probably be too strong and win in straight sets.

Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Shelby Rogers in 2 sets

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