World No. 3 Simona Halep will face Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the semifinal of the 2019 Madrid Open on Friday. The match will take place on May 10 after 2:30 pm local time (1:30 pm BST). Get Simona Halep v Belinda Bencic live streaming options, along with the latest tips and predictions.
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Simona Halep v Belinda Bencic Head to Head
Bencic holds a 2-1 lead over Halep, with her most recent win over the Romanian coming in the WTA Dubai earlier this season.
Bencic Knocks Out World No. 1
On Thursday in Madrid, Belinda Bencic defeated World No. 1 Naomi Osaka for the second time this season to reach the semifinal. It was an authoritative performance by the Swiss, who stared down the abyss of defeat and came out as the champion.
It was a tight encounter, to begin with. Osaka had to win this match to retain her No. 1 ranking while Bencic was in a mood to stage a resurgence of her own. Within an hour, the match was tied at 1-1 with the game now entering the final set.
Bencic lost her service at 3-2 and soon, she found herself defending at the brink of exit at 4-5 on Osaka’s service. But then, the unseeded Swiss rallied with three quick to 40-0 and got back in the match. She followed this with another break and eventually, sailed to a comfortable win with 7-5 in the decider.
The Swiss has been quite resilient throughout the tournament. She staged a similar performance against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round too.
The reigning Luxembourg Open runner-up has been on a roll this season. On the back of her winning run in Dubai and the semifinal feat in Indian Wells, she paved her way into the top 20. She has also registered fantastic wins over Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, and Petra Kvitova, in addition to Osaka and Halep.
Bencic’s current form is reminiscent of her 2015-16 spell when she was a part of the top 10. If anything, her form is way better now and with more wins under her belt, her game has improved dramatically.
Halep Knocks Out Barty
Halep’s performance in Madrid has been quite scintillating as well, with the Romanian now just two wins away from claiming the No. 1 spot. She reached the semifinal without dropping a single set, with her most recent victim being Ashleigh Barty.
After serving a double bagel to Viktoria Kuzmova, she knocked out Barty with 7-5, 7-5, to reach her third semifinal of the season. Against the Aussie, Halep maintained her first-service win rate at an impeccable 75%.
As the defending French Open champion, she is definitely off to a good start on clay. She is certainly much more clinical now, in comparison to start of the season. Working with Daniel Dobre is certainly working for her, considering that she reached the semifinal in Miami under his guidance.
Bencic v Halep Predictions & Tips
This is a fixture that can very well go either way, but Halep will start as the favourite here. She has the experience and more than that, the momentum needed to thrive on clay. The Romanian has been in a flawless form so far and we can expect her to bring the same vigour on Friday too.
As for Bencic, coming in fresh with a massive win over Halep, she is soaring on confidence. She has already defeated Halep once this season and can certainly accomplish that feat again.
Tip: Over 20.5 games in the match: 5.6 (888Sport)