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Halep vs Alexandrova WTA Cincinnati live streaming, preview and tips - Three-time runner-up Halep starts Cincinnati campaign

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 14 Aug 2019
  • Simona Halep vs Ekaterina Alexandrova is live from Cincinnati at 11.00am local time on Wednesday (4.00pm BST)
  • It's the first career meeting between the pair
Simona Halep (PA Images)

Simona Halep will be hoping she’s over the worst of a foot injury that caused her to retire from the Rogers Cup last week when she takes on Ekaterina Alexandrovna in her Cincinnati opener on Wednesday.

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After three runner-up finishes at the Western & Southern Open, reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep begins her quest for a maiden title in Cincinnati against Ekaterina Alexandrova on Wednesday.

Halep has always played well in Cincinnati, making quarter-finals in 2013 and 2014 before reaching at least the semi-finals in every year since, finishing runner-up in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and advancing to the final four in 2016. The Romanian has suffered a couple of contrasting heartbreaking defeats in those finals, wasting a match point last year against Kiki Bertens, while she was blown away by Garbine Muguruza in the 2017 showpiece, winning just one game. Can Halep make it back to the title match this week?

She’s coming off a tough week at the Rogers Cup in Montreal last week, where after beating Jennifer Brady and Svetlana Kuznetsova, Halep was forced to retire with a foot injury during the quarter-finals against Marie Bouzkova.

"I have a little injury, but I feel good and positive. The first match is going to be tough," she said. “I’m looking forward to getting ready on Wednesday, and give my best."

Halep put together a relatively slow start to the season after her 2018 came to an abrupt end due to a back injury that caused her to go winless for the remainder of the season since making the Cincinnati final. The former World No. 1 also split with super coach Darren Cahill, so it was always going to take some time for Halep to find her feet again, but find them she did at Wimbledon, where she stormed to the title for the loss of just one set, taking out the likes of Victoria Azarenka, Cori Gauff and Elina Svitolina before producing what she described as the best match of her career in the final against Serena Williams, defeating the American 6-2 6-2 in a sublime performance to claim the second Grand Slam of her career, following on from her initial breakthrough in Roland Garros last year.

Hoping to maintain that momentum, can Halep once again go deep in Cincinnati this week?


Ekaterina Alexandrova stands in her way on Wednesday. Alexandrova first broke into the world’s top 70 towards the closing stages of 2017 after she won multiple ITF titles that season and made the second rounds of the French and U.S. Opens, but she struggled for most of 2018, dropping out of the top 100 as she made just one quarter-final for the season before her final tournament of the year. Suddenly, Alexandrova put it all together in Linz, qualifying for the main draw and beating the likes of Katerina Siniakova, Johanna Larsson, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrea Petkovic to reach her maiden WTA final before going down to Camila Giorgi.

That run propelled Alexandrova back into the top 100 and she’s playing the best tennis of her career this season, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 43 coming into Cincinnati this week, registering a 26-20 record that includes making the semi-finals in Budapest and quarter-finals at Premier-tournaments in St. Petersburg and Eastbourne, along with advancing to the R16 at the Rogers Cup from qualifying last week, going down in a tight straight sets loss to Serena Williams. Alexandrova continued her good form in her opening round at the Western & Southern Open earlier this week, cruising past former top 10 player Carla Suarez Navarro by a 6-4 6-1 scoreline.

This will be the first meeting between the two players, and it looms as a decent chance for Alexandrova to claim what would be just a second top 10 win. Halep hasn’t had much time to recover from her foot injury, but she seemed upbeat about her chances in pre-tournament press and has always played great tennis in Cincinnati. It basically comes down to her fitness - if Halep’s foot isn’t bothering her, she should prevail here, but if she’s still not 100 per cent, Alexandrova is playing well enough right now to cause her some problems.


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Halep vs Alexandrova WTA Cincinnati live streaming, preview and tips - Three-time runner-up Halep starts Cincinnati campaign

Simona Halep will be hoping she’s over the worst of a foot injury that caused her to retire from the Rogers Cup last week when she takes on Ekaterina Alexandrovna in her Cincinnati opener on Wednesday.

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