Simona Halep, perhaps more than most high seeds at Wimbledon 2018, needed to avoid bad luck when it came to her early-round draw in women’s singles.
The reason for that?
The Romanian hasn’t played since winning the French Open final. That means she enters Wimbledon cold on the grass-court surface.
Accordingly, avoiding a tough non-seed like Kristina Mladenovic or Svetlana Kuznetsova was important and Halep managed to do that. The World No. 1 will face the struggling Kurumi Nara in the first round and then, surviving that, no one more proven than former World No. 44 Quiang Wang in the second round.
That soft draw should give Halep a chance to find her range on grass despite not playing in any of the warm-up events.
In the third round, Halep could face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova but the Russian player has made it through the 3rd round at the All England just once in 11 previous showings. It all suggests that Halep looks very promising to make the second week of Wimbledon 2018.
But Halep will have to find great form in order to survive her quarter. Elise Mertens is a potential fourth-round opponent, the Belgian player that made the Australian Open semifinals this year. Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova and tournament betting-favourite Petra Kvitova are potential quarterfinal opponents for Halep.
Halep’s bad luck of sharing a draw with Kvitova to the semis can’t be understated. The Czech player has a recent grass-court title and two Wimbledon titles from the past. Unless Kvitova suffers an upset early, Halep will have to eliminate the tournament favorite to get to the semifinals. As a top seed, Halep could have hoped for more.
While Halep backers have to be happy with the early-round situation, bets on the Romanian in Ante Post for Wimbledon should cool off.
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