Muguruza vs Halep Tennis Prediction
Former champion Garbine Muguruza and two-time runner-up Simona Halep will clash in the semifinals, with the winner guaranteed the top spot in the WTA rankings next week. For both, however, a chance to play for a slam is a much bigger prize, Muguruza’s third and Halep’s first.
Halep played the longest match of her fortnight so far when she took on former #1 Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals. Kerber took the first set 7-6, but the Romanian eventually prevailed in two hours and 14 minutes, as the German hit 53 unforced errors.
This was Halep’s second comeback win of the fortnight. In the first round against Alison Riske, she lost the first five games quickly, before bouncing back to win, 2-6 6-1 6-1. Since then, she has defeated 16th seed Mertens and former #9 Petkovic in straight sets.
The 26-year-old entered the tournament as the top-seed of a slam for the second time in her career (2018 Australian Open, l. Wozniacki in final). In 50 years of Open Era history, top-seeds have reached French Open final 31 times, winning it on 18 occasions.
In 2014, Halep became first Romanian to enter the final of this slam since Virginia Ruzici’s triumph in 1978 (l. Sharapova). Last year, she led the final against Ostapenko by a set and break, and the decider by a break as well, but eventually losing to the Latvian.
Garbine Muguruza has sent two-time champion Maria Sharapova packing in just 70 minutes, 6-2 6-1. Both players struck the same number of winners (10), but the Russian committed 27 unforced errors to Muguruza’s 15 and went 5/26 on her second serve points.
Muguruza has also met two other former slam champions this fortnight, Svetlana Kuznetsova (7-6 6-2) and Samantha Stosur (6-0 6-2). In the run-up to Paris, she lost to Gavrilova in Rome, Kasatkina in Madrid and retired to Pavlyuchenkova at Stuttgart.
In 2016, Muguruza became the first Spaniard since Sanchez Vicario (1998) to win the French Open (d. S. Williams). Since then, she has gone 32-6 (.842) in slams, including a Wimbledon title in 2017 (d. V. Williams), and 55-35 in other tour-level events (.611).
The third seed is heading into this clash with a 4-2 record against top-ranked opponents, five of those matches coming at slams alone (3-2). Her last such encounter came at 2017 Cincinnati when she dismissed Karolina Pliskova, 6-3 6-2, in 79 minutes.
Muguruza leads the head-to-head by 3-1 and has won their last meeting, which came in the final of 2017 Cincinnati (6-1 6-0 in 56 minutes). Halep won their only meeting on clay, but it was played on the indoor courts of Stuttgart in 2015.
Tennis Prediction: Muguruza