Defending champion Simona Halep will face the veteran Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round of the 2019 Rogers Cup on Thursday in Toronto. The match will take place on August 8 and will start after 1:30 pm local time (6:30 pm BST). Get Simona Halep v Svetlana Kuznetsova live streaming options with the preview here.
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Simona Halep v Svetlana Kuznetsova Head to Head
Halep leads Kuznetsova by 4-3 although, they haven’t met on the tour since 2016. Coincidentally, their last match took place in the Canadian Open itself, where the Romanian won in three sets.
Business as Usual for Halep
Fresh off her sensational win in Wimbledon, Halep arrived in Toronto to defend her title and get some momentum for the US Open. But contrary to the expectations, it wasn’t an easy start for the number four seed, who almost fell to the American qualifier Jennifer Brady right in the opener.
Halep was forced to battle from a set down to ultimately put down Brady with 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(5), in what was one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament. For the most part, Halep didn’t look like a player who just defeated the likes of Elina Svitolina and Simona Halep to win the title at SW19 but then, she proved her grit and asserted herself as a formidable force.
Call it rusty, call it getting back in the groove, Halep has hopefully got the traction needed to successfully defend her title. So far this season, she has been quite consistent as she reached the penultimate rounds on more than one occasion. She will be keeping her spirits up as she heads into this leg of the tour.
Kuznetsova, with her Best Run Yet
The Russian was forced to spend more than six months off the tour due to an injury layoff. Being away from the action for that long, her ranking took a dire hit as she is currently placed in the late 190s.
She returned to the circuit only in April in the Lugano Ladies Open, where she reached the quarterfinal. Since then, she has won only three matches, resulting in a win-loss tally of 5-7. In Toronto, she started as a wildcard and dispatched Xiyu Wang and Donna Vekic to reach the third round.
There is no doubt in the fact that Kuznetsova is a prolific player. With 18 titles and 23 runner-up trophies to her name, she has the experience and skills needed to perform at a big stage like this one.
Halep v Kuznetsova Prediction & Tips
On paper, Halep will start as the overwhelming favourite to win. However, that performance against Brady exposed the vulnerable side of the Romanian – something that Kuznetsova will seek to exploit as she heads into this fixture. Expect a lot of quality shots and high-octane action.
Tip: Over 16.5 games in the match. (888Sport)