World number three Simona Halep returns to the fold when she takes on the 20th-ranked Marketa Vondrousova in the second round of the 2021 WTA Stuttgart Open on Thursday, April 22. Get the live streaming options of this Simona Halep v Marketa Vondrousova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Simona Halep v Marketa Vondrousova Head to Head
There have been two previous matches played between these two and both were won by Vondrousova. The first came on the hard courts of Indian Wells Open in 2019 and this was followed by a meeting on the clay courts of Italian Open in 2019.
In both those matches, Vondrousova needed three sets to get through.
Halep Returns to the Fold
Former world number one Halep will look to make a winning start to the clay swing as she returns to the sport following a break because of a right shoulder fitness issue.
Having last taken to court at the Miami Open, she had to to withdraw from her third round match against Anastasija Sevastova because of that problem. She will now hope the shoulder injury woes are behind her and she can go back to hunting for that number one spot.
Halep, who had earlier reached the quarterfinal at the Australian Open, has nine clay court titles on the WTA circuit, including a French Open victory. Which is why it’s not like the month-odd long layoff will play a huge part in the way she goes about her business but she would be testing her shoulder for starters.
What is also interesting to note is that thanks to the players on show in the draw, she starts off her campaign against an in-form player who has also finished runnerup at the French Open two years ago. Interesting to see how she goes.
Vondrousova Stalls Bouzkova in Opener
Former French Open runnerup Vondrousova looked to be running away with her opener before Bouzkova made life difficult for her and stretched her into a nearly-two hour long contest. In the end, however, Vondrousova clinched a 6-1, 7-6 (6) win in first round to set up a meeting with Halep.
It looked to be heading towards what the doctor ordered for Vondrousova as she raced through the first set with three breaks of serve and facing zero break-points in return.
And when she broke her opponent to take a 4-2 lead, it looked like the match was headed in just one direction. Bouzkova broke right back, saved two match-points and then even had a chance to serve for the set before Vondrousova ended that fairy-tale.
In the tie-breaker that followed, Vondrousova frittered away two more match-points before winning off third.
Can she now continue to overcome Halep at this level?
Halep v Vondrousova Prediction and Tip
Not surprising to see Halep start off a 1/2 favourite – she deserves that much respect. However, there’s enough in Vondrousova’s game to suggest she could test her opponent out here..
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)