Simona Halep vs Irina-Camelia Begu

Simona Halep hits return shot

Top-seeded Simona Halep is the -835 favorite to defeat Irina-Camelila Begu in Saturday’s WTA Prague Open semi-finals. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr).

  • Top-seeded Simona Halep is the overwhleming -835 favorite to defeat Irina-Camelia Begu in the WTA Prague Open semifinals
  • Halep dropped just two games in her quarter-final verdict over Magdalena Frech
  • Read our preview below with odds, analysis and prediction for this match

Entering the WTA Prague Open, Simona Halep indicated that her performance there would go a long way toward determining whether sheโ€™d be willing to cross the pond and compete in the US Open.

Watching events unfold in the Czech Republic, USTA officials must be feeling a growing sense of confidence that the Romanian star will make the trip to Flushing Meadows.

Top-seeded Halep is through to the semifinals, and looks to be getting better with every set of tennis she plays. Sheโ€™ll face fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu on Saturday.

Halep is the prohibitive -835 favorite to win the match and advance to Sundayโ€™s final.

Begu vs Halep WTA Prague Open Semifinal Odds

Player Moneyline Spread Total Odds at Draft Kings
Irina-Camelia Begu +575 +5.5 (-155) O 19.5 (+118)
Simona Halep -835 -5.5 (+120) U 19.5 (-150)

Odds as of Aug. 15.

This is the first time Halep has ever entered the Prague Open.

Halep Leaves Frech Helpless

Playing her first tournament since the resumption of the season, world #2 Halep struggled to find her game in early matches. She required three sets to overcome Polona Hercog and Barbora Krejcikova in the first two rounds in Prague.

However, she looked very much like a two-time Grand Slam champion in the quarterfinals. The Romanian dispatched Magdalena Frech in less than a hour. Playing her sixth match of the week, Frech looked spent.

Halep broke her service three times in each set. The Romanian star won the last seven games of the match.

Thatโ€™s seven successive match wins for the World #2 going back to include pre-COVID-19 competition. World #174 Frech was playing in her first-ever WTA quarterfinal. She managed to hold serve just once during the match.

Begu Wins Battle

Beguโ€™s semifinal match was with Spainโ€™s Sara Sorribes Tormo. Begu emerged victorious via a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 verdict in a match that took two hours and 40 minutes to complete. It was finished Saturday morning after play was suspended mid-match Friday due to thunderstorms.

The Romanian saved 70% of her break points (12/16).ย  She was able to capitalize on 35% of break points faced by Sorribes Tormo (7/20).

Begu will be hoping for a long first semifinal between Elise Mertens and Kristyna Pliskova. Itโ€™s a daunting enough challenge to tangle with the second-ranked player in the world. Doing so on a couple of hours of rest prior to the match seems a sure-fire recipe for disaster.

Traditionally, Begu is a stronger doubles player. Sheโ€™s won four WTA titles in singles but has nine doubles titles to her credit.

Romanian Showdown

Seventy-nine places separate Halep and Begu in the WTA rankings. The gap between the two players on court has proven to be much wider.

Theyโ€™ve met six times previously in tournament singles play. All six times, Halep has won.

Halep vs Begu Statistics

2 WTA World Ranking 81
28 Age 29
20 WTA Singles Titles 4
$36,551,855 Prize Money $5,276,582
503-216 W-L Singles 401-284
73.2% Service Games Won 61.5%
54.8% Break Points Saved 37.5%

Halep has taken 12 of 13 sets from Begu in head-to-head competition. Curiously, the lone set win by Begu was a 6-0 sweep. The World #2 holds an 81-44 edge over the world #81 in games won when theyโ€™ve faced each other.

This will be there second meeting in the semifinals of a WTA tournament. Halep beat Begu 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinals at Shenzen in 2018.

Expect a similar outcome here. Take Halep in straight sets and it should happen quicky.

Instead of an over-under on games played, perhaps they should offer a total wager on time of match.

Pick: Simona Halep (-835), under 19.5 games (-150).

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Robert Duff