World number three Simona Halep will take on Dutchwoman and the 16th-ranked Elise Mertens in the third round of the 2021 Madrid Open on Tuesday, May 4. Get the live streaming options of this Simona Halep v Elise Mertens match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Simona Halep v Elise Mertens Head to Head
There have been five previous meetings between these two players and Halep leads 4-1. On clay, Halep has a 3-0 lead which includes their most recent meeting in Prague last year where Halep clinched the final to lift the trophy.
Halep Continues Easy Run
For the second match in a row, Halep was off the mark in grand style and went on to win in an hour and 20 minutes.
While she had to save three break-points in the very first game, she retaliated with three successive breaks of serves against Zheng Saisai to clinch a bagel in the first set of her second round match.
And following that, she was off to a 3-0 lead in the second set, before exchanging breaks of serves to take her to 5-2. Missing a match-point on her Chinese opponent’s serve, Halep then dropped her serve as she served for the match before breaking and clinching the encounter on her second match-point.
This follows Halep’s 6-0, 7-5 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo in her opening round match, having earlier reached the quarterfinal of the Stuttgart Open.
Halep is still not at her best but by the looks of things she is getting there and will be aiming for her fifth successive quarterfinal at Madrid Open.
Mertens Tames Rybakina in Hard-Fought Thriller
While the match lasted just two sets, Mertens needed to dig deep into her reserves to edge out Elena Rybakina in her second round match in Madrid.
The Dutchwoman, ranked 16th in the world, carved out a 7-6 (4), 7-5 win over her 22nd-ranked opponent, needing two hours and 15 minutes to seal her place in round three.
In a first set that saw fortunes fluctuate to get to the tie-breaker, Mertens dropped her serve early but wrested back the initiative with two breaks of serves in three games. As Mertens served for the set at 5-4, Rybakina broke back, soon forcing a tie-breaker which saw the Dutchwoman race off to a 6-2 lead before winning it off her third set-point.
It became even more difficult to predict the second set winner when every break of serve was followed by the opponent breaking back. It started with Rybakina taking the advantage but losing it in the second game, Mertens then taking a 3-1 lead before dropping serve and then her opponent getting herself a chance to serve for the set at 5-4 again.
That was, however, the last game Rybakina would win as she missed four set-points, dropped serve twice and finally fell to a defeat.
Mertens had earlier gotten past Shuai Zhang in her opening round match and while Halep has had the better of her in their career, she would believe this is her chance.
Halep v Mertens Prediction and Tip
On paper Halep is the favourite but Mertens is never a rank outsider, whoever the opponent, these days. Which is also why odds of 5/2 for a Mertens don’t do justice to her. A tough match in the offing.