Simona Halep vs Angelique Kerber Tennis Prediction
Simona Halep thumps 16th seed Elise Mertens with an emphatic 6-2 6-1 victory in 59 minutes to move into her third French Open quarterfinal. The world #1 hit 16 winners and completely dominated the Belgian’s second serves (won18 of 25 points on the second serve).
Every time Halep has made it this far at the tournament, she went on to reach the final. However, her dream to become the first Romanian to lift this slam since her manager Virginia Ruzici (1978) was cut short by Ostapenko in 2017 and Sharapova in 2014.
Halep started out her campaign with a scare against Alison Riske as she dropped the first set, but eventually won 2-6 6-1 6-1. The next two rounds against #72 Townsend and #107 Petkovic were breeze-throughs, winning them 6-3 6-1 and 7-5 6-0, respectively.
The top-seed has posted a decent clay season, runner-up at Rome again and a quarterfinal at Madrid. However, she is not immune to blowout losses in 2018 as four of her last five losses have come in one-sided straight sets, which includes two 0-6 sets.
Angelique Kerber, who had not won a match in her last two French Open appearances, is into her second quarterfinal of the clay slam (first since 2012) with a 67-minute thrashing of seventh seed and home crowd favorite Caroline Garcia, 6-2 6-3.
This fourth round match would have been concluded in around 50 minutes had it not been for a late surge by the Frenchwoman. Nonetheless, the German dropped just seven first serve points in the entire match (22/29) and kept her errors in check (13).
Last year, Kerber exited Paris in the first round, losing to Makarova in straight sets (6-2 6-2). Hence, joining the likes of Martina Hingis (1999 and 2001) and Stefi Graf (1994) to become the fifth top-seed in Open Era to have lost the opening round of a major.
This fortnight, the former #1 is into the last eight stage without dropping a set, meeting Madrid finalist Kiki Bertens, Ana Bogdan and Mona Barthel en route. She has won 29 matches in 2018, equaling the wins from the entire 2017 season.
Halep took the lead in the H2H record (5-4) by defeating Kerber in the memorable semifinal of this year’s Australian Open, where the German had two match points. However, it is the German who won their only clay meeting, 2016 Fed Cup held at Cluj-Napoca, Romania (6-2 6-2).
Tennis Prediction: Simona Halep