Simona Halep is looking to capture the Prague Open. Photo from @Simona_Halep (Twitter).
- Simona Halep has a chance to bring in her second title of the year at the Prague Open
- Elise Mertens has had her issues with Halep in the past, but could her current form help her turn a corner in their rivalry?
- Keep reading so we can tell you who to lay your money on
With no positive COVID-19 test results as of yet, the WTA tour and more importantly, the Prague Open, keeps chugging along.
With big name players falling by the wayside all tournament long, it’s a bit surprising to see the two biggest names in Simona Halep and Elise Mertens still standing. That being said, one of them has to pack up their bags and head home as they’ll match up in the finals with everything on the line.
Simona Halep vs Elise Mertens Odds
|Simona Halep||-4 (-109)||-225||O 20.5 (-112)|
|Elise Mertens||+4 (-111)||+195||U 20.5 (-108)|
Odds taken August 15th
As expected, the former number one player in the world in Halep is given the edge, at least according to the oddsmakers. But let’s dive in and see if there’s any value on Mertens.
Mertens Picking Up Where She Left Off
With the best start of her career, Elise Mertens was more than a little upset when the WTA was forced to push pause on things due to COVID-19. But now that we are officially back in action, Mertens hasn’t lost a step.
Her run to the finals wasn’t easy, when you consider the scare she had in the first round against Jasmine Paolini and Eugenie Bouchard in the quarterfinals. But even with her back against the wall, she’s pulled off victories each step of the way.
Elise mertens beats kristyna pliskova 7-6 7-6 in the semifinals of the Prague open #mertens #victory #semifinal #PragueOpen2020 ( Getty ) pic.twitter.com/9dhDj2BxKP
— Phil (@tennis_phil) August 15, 2020
Impressive, awe-inspiring, breathtaking and whatever other big words you want to use to describe her performance would be apropos. But even Mertens knows that she’ll need to raise her game significantly against Halep.
Rust? What Rust?
Apparently picking up a racket after six months away from the game has no effect at all on Simona Halep.
Unlike most players who opted to play in a few meaningless exhibition matches in order to stay sharp, Halep sat back and worked on her already impressive game, and the results have shown.
Back to winning ways 💪
After 2,5 hours, @Simona_Halep takes it over Hercog, 6-1, 1-6, 7-6(3).#PragueOpen2020 pic.twitter.com/1CE8tBEZj0
— wta (@WTA) August 11, 2020
Halep had herself a real nail biting moment against Polona Hercog in the first round. The unseeded player left Halep in the rearview mirror in the second set, but came down to earth and was taken care of in the third.
If anyone questions whether or not Halep is already in midseason form, just take a look at her quarterfinal masterpiece against Magdalena Frech. The former world number one and current second-ranked player allowed her opponent to win only two games. Not in the first or second sets, but the entirety of the match.
It’s safe to say that not only will Mertens have her hands full due to Halep’s current form, but also due to their history against one another.
Halep vs Mertens Head-To-Head Stats
|3||Wins Against One Another||1|
|1||Titles Won This Year||0|
Elise Mertens isn’t scared of anyone on the tennis court, but Simona Halep is the last person she wanted to see in the finals.
It’s easy to forget that Mertens is only 24 years of age. It’s felt like she’s been around forever. Regardless of that, Mertens has all of the tools in the world to make it a difficult night at the office for Halep.
But at the moment, she simply looks too good to pick against. Take the multiple time grand slam winner in straight sets.
Pick: Simona Halep (-225)
Hans Themistode has worked in sports journalism since attending Queens College, and has worked for several newspapers including the BX Times and Canarsie Courier, as well as writing for publications such as Fansided and The Clever. His work has also been featured on Bleacher Report.