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Halep vs Putintseva WTA Rome tennis live streaming, preview and predictions

hannahwilks in WTA Italian Open Rome 18 Sep 2020
Simona Halep has never lost in the quarterfinals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Alfredo Falcone – LaPresse)

Simona Halep targets a fifth Internazionali BNL d’Italia semifinal appearance as she takes on Yulia Putintseva in Rome.

Halep vs Putintseva is live from Rome on Saturday 19 September, 12pm local/11am BST

Now on an 11-match winning streak, Simona Halep has never lost a quarterfinal match at the Foro Italico, a record she looks to maintain as she takes on Yulia Putintseva on Saturday.

WTA Rome 2020: Find out tournament information for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and how to stream ATP Rome matches live

Halep is 17-2 in 2020 and won her only previous match against Putintseva in straight sets, but the feisty Kazakh is a two-time French Open quarterfinalist and a fiery opponent.

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Halep vs Putintseva: Head-to-head

Simona Halep and Yulia Putintseva have played once before, at the Australian Open in January when Halep won 6-1, 6-4.

Halep vs Putintseva: Preview

Top seed Simona Halep is the current favourite with oddsmakers to win the French Open, and the clay-loving Romanian looks set to bolster that status with a deep run in Rome. Halep has never won the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, but she’s made the final twice and the semifinals twice and has only failed to make the semifinals when reaching the last 16 once – in 2014, when she gave Carla Suarez Navarro a walkover.

In 2020, in so many ways, all bets are off, of course, but Halep started the season strong with an Australian Open semifinal run and a title in Dubai, and she has made it clear that clay is her focus on the WTA Tour’s resumption: A title in Prague, where she beat Elise Mertens in the final, means that she brought a nine-match winning streak into Rome.

That streak has now been extended to 11 straight wins after victories over Italian wildcard Jasmine Paolini and rising Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska.

Halep was broken to open by Paolini before winning 6-3, 6-4, and she trailed Yastremska 0-3 in the first set as well before turning things around. In both cases, it was the power off the ground which rocked Halep back on her heels in the early stages, but once she found her rhythm, she never looked back. Swiftly getting back on serve against Yastremska, she pounced on her opportunity when Yastremska struggled on serve at 5-5 to break. It was the first of five straight games won by Halep that would see her lead 7-5, 3-0, and although Yastremska did get one break back, Halep closed out a 7-5, 6-4 win thanks to her insurance break.

Halep has now won 12 straight sets since dropping the first to Barbora Krejcikova in the second round of Prague, and she will be clearly favoured in this quarterfinal clash with Putintseva.

Yulia Putintseva is a two-time French Open quarterfinalist (PA Images)

The Kazakh made the quarterfinals of the French Open in 2016 and 2018, and made the third Grand Slam quarterfinal of her career at the US Open over the last fortnight, where she beat tenth seed Petra Martic before falling to Jennifer Brady. Martic, also seeded eighth in Rome, once again fell to Putintseva in three sets, as did Elena Rybakina despite serving for the match. It’s not surprising. Putintseva, not the tallest or most physically imposing player, is an excellent defender and counter-puncher who has been working hard to add more of a transition game to her arsenal; and if you can’t outgun Putintseva with sheer power, as Brady did, you had better be prepared to run a lot.

Halep is always prepared to run a lot. She and Putintseva share a fundamentally counterpunching game, but Halep is much, much better at consistently hitting through her forehand using it to dictate, and at making her way forward to finish points in the forecourt. Their Australian Open match saw Halep’s serve dominating in the first set before a much more even second; on clay, it feels like a tight two sets or possibly even three, but a victory for Halep.

Halep vs Putintseva: Prediction