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Halep vs Pavlyuchenkova tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Halep vs Pavlyuchenkova resumes on Thursday in Montreal with Halep trailing 3-4 in the first set

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 9 Aug 2018
  • Top seed Simona Halep resumes her second-round match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Thursday
  • The match was suspended due to rain with Pavlyuchenkova leading 4-3 on serve in the first set
  • Halep vs Pavlyuchenkova is live from Montreal on Thursday at 5.30pm local/12.30pm BST
Simona Halep (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Top seed Simona Halep resumes her match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at the Rogers Cup on Thursday with the Russian leading 4-3 on serve - the winner will have to return later in the day to play Venus Williams or Sorana Cirstea.

Champion at the Rogers Cup – or Coupe Rogers – in 2016, world no. 1 Simona Halep begins her bid to reclaim the title as she faces Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second round. The match was rained off on Wednesday with Pavlyuchenkova leading 4-3 on serve in the first set, and resumes on Thursday with the winner going on to face Sorana Cirstea or Venus Williams for a place in the quarterfinals.

Halep won the 14th, and at the time one of the biggest, title of her singles career in Montreal in 2016 when she claimed the Coupe Rogers title, defeating Karolina Pliskova, Angelique Kerber and Madison Keys (she also made the final in 2015, retiring against Belinda Bencic, and was a semifinalist in 2017).

Halep with the Rogers Cup trophy in 2016 (GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)
Since that 2016 triumph in Montreal, Halep has only won three more titles, but her career has progressed immensely – first with her elevation to world no. 1 at the end of 2017, and then with her elevation to the ranks of Grand Slam champions when she came back from a set and a break down against Sloane Stephens in the French Open final to claim her maiden major title at Roland Garros.

‘Being no.1 in the world and winning my first Grand Slam makes me really happy,’ Halep said. ‘I feel lighter inside myself because the pressure is off now.

‘Every tournament is a tough one. I just want to be patient with myself and try and find my highest level again.’

Of course, Halep also said that she felt like the pressure was off when she spoke to the press before Wimbledon, and promptly crashed out in the third round to Su-Wei Hsieh, losing her way from a winning position in a performance she called ‘unprofessional’ – so as always it’s good to take these things with a grain of salt.

The turnaround between the French Open and Wimbledon is so short, however, especially when one has to fit in a heroine’s welcome at home, that it’s not surprising Halep struggled to bring her best to the latter event. A bit more time to breathe, adjust and start training again before starting her US Open Series in Montreal should have given the world no. 1 the chance to bring something like her best tennis to the Coupe Rogers.

Halep, whose titles include Indian Wells and New Haven as well as the Rogers Cup, is a very, very good player on American hard courts and if she is fit and can find her feet quickly, the top seed should be poised for a deep run in Montreal even if potential opponents in the next few rounds do include Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova.

First up for Halep in Montreal is, however, a less intimidating opponent in the form of Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
That’s not to say Pavlyuchenkova isn’t a very good player. The Russian, now 27 and a former top junior, was tipped for greatness when she first turned pro as a teenager, but it’s never quite emerged. That’s not to say her career has been a poor one – she’s won 12 WTA Tour singles titles and reached six finals besides, and ranked as high as world no. 13, not to mention being one of the small group of active players who have made the quarterfinals or better at all four Grand Slams, completing the ‘set’ when she made the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2017.

But Pavlyuchenkova has never found the fitness to offset the weaknesses in her game, nor attained the consistency to become an elite player, remaining firmly in ‘dangerous floater’ territory – she has 27 wins against top-10 players in her career. Moreover, 2018 has been an extremely lackluster season for her, with a win-loss record of 13-14 coming into Montreal – and six of those 13 wins came within the space of one week, when she won the twelfth WTA Tour title of her career in Strasbourg the week before the French Open (where she made the second round).

Ousted, like Halep, by Su-Wei Hsieh at Wimbledon, Pavlyuchenkova too took the next few weeks off before returning to action in Montreal with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Christina McHale.

A quarterfinalist at the Rogers Cup in 2016, Pavlyuchenkova looks very unlikely to get that far again this time given her 0-7 record against Halep. The Romanian has had the Russian’s number as far back as 2012, and hasn’t lost a set to her on hard courts since Tokyo 2013, although Pavlyuchenkova did get a set in their last match (on clay in Rome last spring – Halep promptly bagelled her in response). If Halep is fit, and there is no indication otherwise, she should be far too quick and steady for the hard-hitting but error-prone Russian.

Halep vs Pavlyuchenkova second-round tennis is live from Montreal on Thursday at 12.30pm local/5.30pm BST

*Geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify

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Halep vs Pavlyuchenkova tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Halep vs Pavlyuchenkova resumes on Thursday in Montreal with Halep trailing 3-4 in the first set

Simona Halep vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova live streaming, preview and predictions for the Rogers Cup Montreal second-round match on Thursday 9 August 2018: Halep vs Pavlyuchenkova resumes on Thursday with Halep trailing 3-4 on serve in the first set, after the match was rained off on Wednesday

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