Roland Garros, 🇫🇷🐌 Quarter-Final Preview + Prediction
QF #3: (3) 🇷🇴 Simona Halep vs (5) 🇺🇦 Elina Svitolina
A blockbuster quarter-final in Paris sees tournament favourite Simona Halep come up against Elina Svitolina. At this stage in the tournament, Svitolina looms as Halep’s biggest threat to winning the title, the winner of this match will be the favourite to go and win the title at Roland Garros. This match is a replay of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia final of last month, Svitolina won that match in three sets, it will be interesting to see if Halep can reverse that result on Wednesday. Both ladies bring exceptional form into this crucial quarter-final clash.
Elina Svitolina enters the quarter-final stage in Paris on a 9-match winning streak and a having won 14 of her last 15 matches. Simona Halep also enters the quarter-final stage having won 14 of her last 15 matches. The stage is set for an epic contest between arguably the two best players left in the draw at Roland Garros, it is highly likely that the winner of this contest will go on to win the title.
There were question marks surrounding Simona Halep at the start of the tournament in regards to the ankle injury that she sustained in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia final. The third seed has shown little sign of injury this week, cruising through to the final 8 without dropping a single set. Halep started the event with comfortable wins over Jana Cepelova and Tatjana Maria before overcoming a late challenge from Daria Kasatkina to win 6-0 7-5. The Romanian confirmed her spot in the quarter-finals with a 6-1 6-1 smashing of Carla Suarez Navarro, a statement win that confirms Halep’s status as the favourite to win the tournament. If Halep can continue to play the type o tennis she played on Monday against Suarez Navarro, she will be extremely difficult to beat.
If anyone can beat Halep at Roland Garros, it’s probably Elina Svitolina. The Ukrainian has benefited from a relatively favourable draw, Svitolina is yet to come up against a seeded opponent on rote to the quarter-finals. The fifth seed started her campaign with a hard-fought 6-4 6-3 win over Yaroslava Shvedova before coming from a set down to beat Tsvetana Pironkova 3-6 6-3 6-2. Svitolina then scrapped past Magda Linette 6-4 7-5, it was in the fourth round that Svitolina survived her greatest scare, beating Petra Martic 4-6 6-3 7-5. Svitolina was unable to warm-up properly before that match due to a sudden injury complaint before the match, Svitolina overcame a 2-5 deficit in the deciding set against Martic, overall it was a typically gutsy win for Svitolina, a win that could work in her favour moving forward.
The only previous meeting between Halep and Svitolina was in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia final last month, Svitolina won that match 4-6 7-5 6-1. It was a bizarre final, both players suffered injury concerns during the match, so It is hard to read too much into that result. Svitolina’s ability to outlast Halep in a grind is one factor to take from that match.
I’m going to go for the upset here, Svitolina was my pick to win the tournament and I will stick with that. I think this is a good match-up for Svitolina, I suspect Svitolina is the tougher of the two and will again outlast Halep in what is likely to be a long, physical battle. Both players are obviously great movers, great defenders but both can step up and be aggressive when necessary. In this match-up it is Halep who will dictate more often than not but she will find it hard to consistently hit through Svitolina, the Ukrainian enjoys these types of match-ups and has less pressure heading into this match, another situation that she usually thrives on. In a long, grinding battle it is Svitolina who is likely to come out on top.
Prediction: Elina Svitolina to defeat Simona Halep in 3 sets