World number three Simona Halep will face fellow Grand Slam winner and Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the second round of the 2021 Italian Open on Wednesday, May 12. Get the live streaming options of this Simona Halep v Angelique Kerber match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Simona Halep v Angelique Kerber Head to Head
This has been a keen rivalry that began all the way back in 2009 on the ITF circuit where Halep had won an opening round match. Since then, they have faced off 10 times and both have won in five matches each, leading up to their 2019 meeting on the grass courts of Eastbourne.
Interestingly only one match before this came on clay and it was pocketed by Halep at the 2018 French Open, where the Romanian needed to come back from a set down to carve out a victory.
Halep Desperate for Deep Run
Halep did make it to the quarterfinal of the Australian Open earlier this year, and has a semifinal appearance on the clay courts of Stuttgart Open but nothing in the kitty has far as a title win is concerned.
Fitness has been an obvious reason for the relative lack of success and Halep will hope to put that all behind her when she begins her campaign here in Rome.
The Romanian enters this competition on the back of a third round appearance in Madrid where she bagelled both Sara Sorribes Tormo and Zheng Saisai but failed to rise to the challenge of Aryna Sabalenka. What would hurt Halep even more is she had taken the first set there but allowed Sabalenka to creep back into the contest.
A first round bye in Rome will now be followed with facing one of her biggest career rivals who has started off rather well in the competition. Can Halep dictate terms right from the get go?
Kerber Aiming to Go One Better
The leadup to this tournament in Rome has been underwhelming for Kerber. Since reaching the quarterfinals of the Grampians Trophy in Australia, the German hasn’t won back to back matches in any of the remaining six tournaments she has participated and facing Halep now could be a big blow to her chances of doing that.
In three successive tournaments now just before this one in Rome, Kerber has started off well before getting knocked out by superior opponent in the second.
It started with an opening win over Renata Zarazua in Miami before she fell to Victoria Azarenka, and followed it up with defeats in round two to Elina Svitolina and Petra Kvitova.
And now while she crushed Alize Cornet’s hopes in her opener here in straight sets – winning 6-2, 7-5 – Kerber faces another superior opponent in her second round match. The result, she would hope, is different.
Halep v Kerber Prediction and Tip
Kerber’s fighting spirit and Halep’s recent fitness struggles could combine to make life slightly difficult for the latter but the Romanian should come through in straight sets.