I figure that with yet another Big Four men’s singles final in a Grand Slam (Nadal/Djokovic(, that final is worth skipping over in terms of prediction, and instead focus on the women’s singles final. Maria Sharapova, world #7 and seeded #7, competes against Romania’s Simona Halep, the soon-to-be world #3 and the Open’s #4 seed, for the championship.
I’m sure I don’t have to repeat the accomplishments of that whom some call “Sugarpova” but here’s what’s relevant: She’s reached at least the semifinal round 4 years running at Roland Garros, a better streak than her run of 3 years at Wimbledon. Owns a lifetime record of 81% wins on clay. This year, won 90 of 100 sets played on clay, going 18-1 in matches
Simona Halep only just came upon my radar. In this year’s Australian Open she reached her first quarterfinal in a Grand Slam event. Last year she won 6 WTA titles, and across 4 different surfaces.
Here are the stats Halep has an edge, lifetime:
1st serve: 62.8% to 61%
2nd serve points won: 48.6% to 47.7%
Service games won: 71.3% to 70.5%
1st serve return points won: 41.2% to 40.7%
2nd serve return points won: 59.7% to 59.3%
Return games won: 46.4% to 44.8%
Head to head:
Sharapova’s won 3 all contests, including a win on clay at Madrid in the final. Halip has only managed better stats a few times in any category at all, once each for these: 2nd service points won, 1st service points won, aces to double faults.
Looking at each category here’s what levels Halep would need to win:
1st serve %: 66
Aces/double faults: keep at least one ace better than double fault
1st service points won: 65%
2nd service points won: 49%
Return points won: 47%
Now to the cycles:
Might this be a tough day for Maria? She’s made it through the tournament this far, so her game is on a slow but uphill streak. Mental game is still at its peak which she’s relied on. Pure power has not served her well but that is increasing.
All 3 cycles are in the positive sector for this brief period of 2 days. She’s experienced an upward trend for at least a week, tho physically it’s starting to downturn considerably. This might be felt as a challenging day emotionally, prone to outbursts and related character, being overly sensitive to the elements. Still her cycles are better than Maria’s, with a stronger mental game and a much stronger focus.
This could be the day Simona Halep wins her first match against Sharapova, but she will have to be at the peak of her game, which in fact appears to be now. Still, I’m siding with past history, and am predicting Sharapova wins in 3 grueling sets, a match worthy of a Grand Slam final.