Defending champion Karolina Pliskova meets top seed Simona Halep in an enthralling Internazionali BNL d’Italia final on Monday. Halep vs…
Defending champion Karolina Pliskova meets top seed Simona Halep in an enthralling Internazionali BNL d’Italia final on Monday.
Simona Halep vs Karolina Pliskova | WTA Rome final | 21/9/2020, 1.30pm BST3 sets 13/10 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Halep vs Pliskova is live from Rome on Monday 21 September, 2.30pm local/1.30pm BST
Will it be third time lucky for Simona Halep? A hard-fought win over Garbine Muguruza put the world no. 2 into the WTA Rome final once again, and for the first time, she won’t be facing Elina Svitolina there.
Karolina Pliskova is looking to follow in Svitolina’s footsteps and boost her confidence ahead of the French Open by capturing back-to-back Internazionali BNL d’Italia titles – can she power past Halep in Monday’s final?
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
How to watch Halep vs Pliskova live
WTA Rome matches including Simona Halep vs Karolina Pliskova are streamed live alongside odds and in-play betting at bet365.
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Halep vs Pliskova: Head-to-head
Simona Halep leads the head-to-head with Karolina Pliskova 7-4, but has lost their last two encounters.
On clay, the head-to-head is 1-1, with Halep winning in three sets at the French Open in 2017 and Pliskova winning in Madrid in 2018.
Halep vs Pliskova: Preview
It’s hard to imagine a better curtain-raiser for the women’s French Open than the WTA side of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia this week, and the final should be a fitting denouement as top seed and French Open favourite Halep takes on defending champion Pliskova.
Halep hadn’t been pushed too hard in Rome this week and progressed to the semifinals via Yulia Putintseva’s retirement, but she was always going to have to work hard in a bruising semifinal clash against Garbine Muguruza on Sunday and so it proved. In a battle of French Open champions and a rematch of January’s Australian Open semifinal, Halep preserved her perfect record against Muguruza on clay, but not without a fight. The world no. 2 dominated the opening set and led 4-2 in the second, but Muguruza, struggling physically after lengthy matches against Coco Gauff and Victoria Azarenka, shortened the points and began going for broke on her shots, reeling off four straight games to level. The third set was the match in miniature, with a dominant Halep building a 5-1 lead, only for Muguruza to break twice to get back to 4-5; two double faults from the struggling Spaniard, however, saw Halep wrap up a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory.
Pliskova had had her own three-set battle against Elise Mertens in the quarterfinals, but kept things under control in an all-Czech semifinal clash with Marketa Vondrousova, the 2019 French Open runner-up. Pliskova blasted through the opening set with her trademark power, but had to recover a break at the beginning of the second set before squandering a 4-1 lead to be pegged back to 4-4. The crucial game at 4-4 saw the world no. 4 save break point before breaking for a 6-1, 6-4 win.
Pliskova’s win took only 83 minutes, giving her something of a physical advantage over Halep on Sunday, but it shouldn’t be a big factor with Halep not dropping a set coming into the semifinals.
Pliskova has had the best of the rivalry in recent times, winning three of the past four meetings including their most recent clay encounter, but it’s difficult to point to a big reason why this should be as each of those matches was very different. As Halep has worked to make her game more aggressive, she’s got a tendency to make more unforced errors, slightly changing the dynamic which is fundamentally one of counterpuncher against first-strike player. But that by no means suggests that she can’t beat Pliskova on her day.
Both women have been playing really brilliant tennis this week, so it’s a promising final. For me, Halep is still the superior clay-court player, and she’s won their only match which took place in conditions remotely similar; for that reason, I’m backing the two-time Rome runner-up to finally get her hands on the trophy.