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

hannahwilks in WTA Italian Open Rome 17 Sep 2020
Simona Halep is on a ten-match winning streak (Alfredo Falcone – LaPresse)

Two-time Rome runner-up Simona Halep takes on rising Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska for the first time.

Halep vs Yastremska is live from Rome on Friday 18 September, 1pm local/12pm BST

World no. 2 Simona Halep brings a ten-match winning streak, maintained on either side of the six-month ATP and WTA shutdown, into a third-round clash with Dayana Yastremska at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Friday.

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

Halep is looking to find her top form ahead of the French Open as she takes on Yastremska, the 20-year-old who won her first WTA clay-court title in Strasbourg last summer, for a place in the quarterfinals.

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

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Halep vs Yastremska: Head-to-head

Simona Halep and Dayana Yastremska have never played before.

Halep vs Yastremska: Preview

Simona Halep continued her strong form as she defeated Jasmine Paolini to get off to a winning start at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, where all indications are that the Romanian will be tough to beat.

Although she suffered a surprise defeat to Marketa Vondrousova in Rome last year, Halep otherwise has an excellent record, reaching the final in 2017-18 and the semifinals in 2013 and 2015. The 2018 French Open champion is also an impressive 16-2 in 2020, with her only defeats so far coming to Aryna Sabalenka in Adelaide and Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals of the Australian Open in January. Since then, Halep has won the 20th title of her career in Dubai and, returning from the six-month shutdown, the 21st of her career in Prague, where she beat Elise Mertens in the final.

Halep came back from an early break down against Paolini, the Italian wildcard ranked just inside the top 100 at the moment, breaking Paoloni’s serve eight times although she surrendered her own five times. The top seed profited from seven double faults from her opponent, but served solidly herself and altogether made a very decent start to her Rome campaign.

Dayana Yastremska has won three WTA International titles (Alfredo Falcone – LaPresse 14/09/2020)

It’s also fortunate for Halep that she doesn’t have to face Amanda Anisimova, who blew her off the court in last year’s French Open, although Yastremska is also a dangerous opponent.

Yet to become a big name, although surely not far from it, 20-year-old Yastremska won three WTA Tour International-level titles in 2018-19 and made the fourth round of Wimbledon last year. She rose to a career-high world no. 21 in January after finishing runner-up to Ashleigh Barty in Adelaide, having beaten Sabalenka and Angelique Kerber (via retirement), and picked up a win over Sofia Kenin on her way to the round of 16 in Dubai before the shutdown.

Yastremska won back-to-back matches in Palermo and ‘Cincinnati’ on her return to action, defeating Venus Williams at the latter in a three-set thriller, but suffered an early defeat to Madison Brengle at the US Open. Both her matches in Rome so far have gone the distance, with Yastremska overcoming two very different power players in Anisimova and Camila Giorgi to make the last 16.

That’s not great preparation for facing Halep, against whom careful point construction is much more of a necessity even for power players because of her superb defense and ability to absorb and redirect pace. Yastremska is 2-9 vs top-10 players, with both those wins coming on hard courts; she’s an extremely feisty and attacking player, and I could absolutely see her taking a set from Halep on hard courts. On clay, I’m less certain of it.

Halep vs Yastremska: Prediction