Simona Halep of Romania, the number one seed, will play Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, the number seven seed in the quarter-final of the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships on Thursday, February 20. The match is scheduled for 8.15 pm local time (4.15 pm BST) and you can find the Simona Halep v Aryna Sabalenka live streaming options along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Simona Halep v Aryna Sabalenka Head to Head
The pair have played each other three times before, with Halep leading their head to head series by two matches to one. The Romanian won their two encounters in 2018, in Shenzen, and at the Cincinnati Open, but it was Sabalenka who emerged victorious when the pair met last month in Adelaide.
Halep Saved Match Point Against Jabeur
World number two Halep, the current Wimbledon champion, is still on track to win her first title of 2020, to add to the 19 events she has already just, but her challenge in Dubai came mighty close to being derailed by Ons Jabeur, the Arab heroine of Melbourne, on Wednesday.
The world number 45 raced through the first set, dropping just one game, before Halep rallied, and won the second in an almost equally one-sided fashion. She then took a three game lead at the start of the third set, but she could not shake the Tunisian off, and the Arab fought back to level the match and force the tie break.
Again it was Halep who edged ahead and had two match points, only for Jabeur to save them both. And then it was the turn of Jabeur to have her own match point, before Halep’s form returned when she most needed it, and she won the next three points to win the match.
She will need to play much better if she is to win the title here.
Sabalenka Beat Doubles Partner on Wednesday
Sabalenka, who won three WTA finals in 2019, including the WTA Elite event in October, came into Dubai looking for some good performances after an up and down start to the season.
She reached the second round in Shenzen, and then got to the semi-finals in Adelaide, beating Halep in the process. However, a first round loss to the Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro in Melbourne was not in the plans, and, although she beat Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands playing for Belarus in the Fed Cup Qualifiers, she was well beaten by Kiki Bertens.
However, she had an encouraging win over Maria Sakkari of Greece in the first round, defeating the world number 21 player in three sets. That earned her a second round tie with her doubles partner, Elise Mertens of Belgium, with whom she won the Sunshine Doubles double at Indian Wells and Miami last year, and she was able to beat her in straight sets.
Simona Halep v Aryna Sabalenka Predictions & Tips
Despite Sabalenka’s recent victory over her, Halep will start the favourite to win this match, although she will have to raise her game after almost going out to Jabeur. Her supporters will be hoping that the fright she suffered is enough to make her step up a gear and start to find her best form.
Tip: Halep to win in three sets: 11/4 (Click here to get these odds with Unibet)