French Open favourite Simona Halep aims to preserve her perfect record against compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu as they clash for a…
French Open favourite Simona Halep aims to preserve her perfect record against compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu as they clash for a place in the third round at Roland Garros.
Simona Halep vs Irina-Camelia Begu | French Open R2 | 30/9/2020, 2pm BSTOver 19.5 games 27/20 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Halep vs Begu is live from Roland Garros on Wednesday 30 September, 3pm local/2pm BST
On a 15-match winning streak after beating Sara Sorribes Tormo in the first round, Simona Halep is both unbeaten on clay in 2020 and unbeaten against her second-round opponent and fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu.
Halep, a strong favourite to reclaim the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen this fortnight, will be aiming to lead the way into the third round in Paris as she plays her first match outside Court Philippe-Chatrier on Wednesday.
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
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Halep vs Begu: Head-to-head
Simona Halep leads the head-to-head with Irina-Camelia Begu 7-0, and has won 13 of the 14 completed sets they have played against each other.
Halep vs Begu: Preview
It’s already been a good French Open for the Romanian women, with Irina Bara and Patricia Maria Tig into the second round at the time of writing alongside Begu and the nation’s standard-bearer, Halep.
Expectations for the 2018 French Open champion could not be much higher as she returns to a tournament where she has made the final four times. Having been denied the chance to defend her Wimbledon title, Halep picked up where she left off with a strong start to the season – a run to the Australian Open semifinal followed by winning the title in Dubai – post-shutdown, confining her activities to clay and reaping the rewards as she won the Prague Open and then the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, a title which had eluded her despite reaching the final on two previous occasions.
Karolina Pliskova retired in that final, but wins over Dayana Yastremska and Garbine Muguruza underlined how well Halep is playing right now and emphasized her favourite status heading into Roland Garros.
The conditions this year at this unusual autumnal edition of the French Open are slow, cold and heavy, but Halep didn’t seem bothered by them in the least as she recorded a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Sara Sorribes Tormo – no slouch on clay at all – to begin her campaign.
Halep also received a bit of a boost from other results, with projected fourth-round opponent Marketa Vondrousova – the 2019 finalist, who had won her two previous encounters with Halep – ousted by Iga Swiatek and Begu putting out Jil Teichmann, not a player who had beaten Halep in the past but an in-form one who was an unknown quantity.
Begu is the opposite for Halep, who has beaten her compatriot seven times, six in straight sets and four times on clay, including in Prague in August when Halep won 7-6(2), 6-3 in the semifinals.
With a 236-121 career record on clay, compared to 145-137 on hard courts, Begu is much more formidable on this surface than any other and was ranked as high as world no. 22 in 2016, largely as a result of reaching the quarterfinals of Madrid and the semifinals of Rome. She has beaten Garbine Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka and Jelena Ostapenko on clay, and made the round of 16 at the French Open in 2016; she has also reached the third round three times, most recently in 2018-19. So she is a classy opponent on clay, but she has never been able to really threaten Halep on it. Halep won their clash in Prague by 13 games to 9; something similar looks likely at the French Open on Wednesday.