(1) Simona Halep vs (3) Caroline Wozniacki
Friday’s second semifinal from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships features two of the pre-tournament favourites: top seed, Simona Halep and former champion, Caroline Wozniacki.
Simona cruised through her first two matches of the week, clinically dispatching Daniela Hantuchova and Tsvetana Pironkova. The Romanian was forced to work much, much harder for her 6-3 1-6 7-5 quarter-final victory over a feisty Ekaterina Makarova.
The third set of Simona’s quarter-final victory was particularly tough. Long gruelling rallies were the norm, as both ladies successfully moved each other around the court before hitting into the open court.
Simona squandered loads of chances in the final set, winning just 10 of 12 break points and failing to serve out the match at 5-3. Simona did extremely well to keep her cool and eventually closed out the match on her fifth match point.
After a first up scare against Sam Stosur, Caroline Wozniacki has waltzed into the semifinals. Wozniacki won 10 straight games in her commanding 6-4 6-0 victory over Alize Cornet before racing to similar 7-5 6-0 victory over Flavia Pennetta.
Caroline has been as consistent as ever this week in Dubai. The Dane has drawn an extreme number of errors from each of her opponents.
This will be the third career meeting between Caro and Simona. The pair have split their first two encounters, it was Halep who came out on top in their most recent match. A comfortable 7-5 6-2 victory on route to her 2013 title in New Haven.
This promises to be a fascinating encounter between two of the most consistent players on tour. I think Simona has a very slight edge in this matchup given the extra power she possess. The Romanian’s deep groundstrokes, particularly her backhand down the line will trouble Wozniacki.
Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Caroline Wozniacki in 3 sets