S. Williams (1.88) v Halep (2.12)
Due to start on Tuesday, 8 am
Serena Williams leads their previous matches 9-3. Their last match was in the Wimbledon final in 2019. Halep won in straight sets. Serena has won their 6 hard court matches. The most recent of those was at the Australian Open in 2019. Their last 2 hard matches went to 3 sets.
Their long term overall results are quite even. Halep has better results in the last 12 months. She has won 23 of 25 matches. She has won 10 of 11 on hard courts in the last year.
Serena beat Sabalenka in 3 sets in the last round. She was still having a few issues with her second serve. She had problems with it in the fourth round against Potapova. Serena hit 8 double faults against Sabalenka. Serena was comfortable in the first 2 rounds against Laura Siegemund and Nina Stojanovic. Her serve issues started in the third round. Potapova was twice a break of serve up in their opening set but Serena broke back each time to take the set in a tie break. The second set was one sided.
Halep needed 3 sets to beat Iga Swiatek in the last round. She served well and was broken twice from 3 break points. Her easy matches were in the first and third rounds. In the second round she was up against Ajla Tomljanovic as a 1.10 favourite. She lost the first set and levelled the match by taking the second. In the deciding set Tomljanovic took a 5-2 lead before Halep rattled off 5 games in a row.
This is a tough one to call. Some value on Halep though Serena has started to drift a little. The head to head on hard courts is difficult to ignore. Now here’s the big stat for me. With the exceptions of their first and last matches ALL their other matches took place when Serena was world number 1. For their first match she was ranked 25 and Halep was 58. The only time Halep was ranked higher before today was that win on grass in the Wimbledon in 2019.
Halep needs to do 2 things to win this one. She needs to serve well and also needs to believe she can win. Lay Serena around 1.50 and remove some or all of your liability at 2.00. Lay the winner of the first set. We should see 3 sets.
Update: Great match from Serena Williams. Halep hit a lot of 1st serves but they weren’t always effective. There were some decent trades to be had especially the lay on Serena at 1.50 ( I took 1.52) and remove the liability at 2.00 ( I removed liability at 1.90 on Halep’s ladder). In the second set Halep went ahead by a break twice but just couldn’t hold on.
Serena Williams won 6-3, 6-3.