Simona Halep, the top seed and World number 2, is the favorite at the Prague Open. And, she did not disappoint with the 7-6 (2), 6-3 performance in the semis against compatriot, and 82nd ranked, Irina-Camelia Begu. Elise Mertens, seeded third at the event, is Simona’s opponent in the finals. Mertens faced a stiff challenge from Kristyna Pliskova in the semis, but prevailed 7-5, 7-6 (4). The Lexington Open, however, surprised us with Brady’s maiden run to the finals. Jill Teichmann also made her first hard court final in Lexington. The finals will be Halep against Mertens in Prague, and Brady against Teichmann, at the Top Seed Open, in Lexington.
Simona Halep dissatisfied with her performance in the semis
Begu played a debilitating three setter only two hours prior to her match against the reigning Wimbledon champion Halep. She took a 5-3 lead in the first, but Simona leveled before Begu took a medical break for treatment of callouses on her right palm. The break apparently helped Halep regain breath as well as recover composure to win the first in the tie-break.
“I didn’t play my best tennis but probably she was a little bit more tired than me in the second set,” Halep said after the match. “I’m really happy that I could win it. It’s always tough to play against her. She’s a great player.”
Simona Halep will meet Mertens who dispatched Kristyna Pliskova in the semis. Elise improved her record to 3-0 against Pliskova with the win. She, however, worked hard for the win.
“It was a really close match, just a couple of points of difference,” said Mertens. “We both served well, so it was difficult to break each other, especially when our first serve was in. She can hit balls either way, so it was difficult to get the point started.”
Halep against Mertens in Prague with a 3-1 advantage in the rivalry for the Romanian
Simona enjoys a 3-1 advantage in the rivalry against Mertens, and two of those came on the clay.
“I played her at the Australian Open this year and it was a close one,” said Mertens about Halep. “She’s in the final, so she’s got a lot of matches in and will be confident.
Also read – Does Halep stand a chance against Serena
In Halep against Mertens in Prague, we believe, Halep, enjoys a slight advantage over Mertens on the clay and, should prevail in three.
Brady was too strong for Coco
Jennifer employed the power game and the big serve to defeat 16 years old Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4. Coco showed impressive form at the event and defeated Aryana Sabalenka in the second and Ons Jabeur in the quarters. Brady with the powerful serve and forehand, however, was too strong for Coco. She fired eight aces and won 22 of 26 first serve points against Gauff.
“If I’m able to serve well, I’m able to start the point aggressive, start it in my favour, looking for forehands and be in control of the point from the very first shot,” Brady said after the win against Gauff.
Brady put in hard work behind her serve and it seems to be paying off. “I’ve been working a little bit on all aspects of the serve, mainly the stroke and the timing of the serve, more technique, things like that,” said Jennifer.
25 years old Brady will meet 23 years old, left hander, Jill Teichmann in the finals at Lexington. Jill won two clay court events in 2019 and this is her first hard court final ever.
Jill Teichmann is not only a clay court expert
“Everyone thinks I’m just a clay-court player. I think I’ve proven now that it’s not only this way,” Teichmann said. “I’ve been feeling great on hard courts since, let’s say, the beginning of the year.”
She is 2-0 in the finals and, like Jennifer, did not drop a set en rote to the final at Lexington. But, when asked, she did not make much of her 2-0 record in past WTA finals, and said: “That doesn’t mean anything, for sure, I’m going to the final confident.”
The final is a little tougher to call, than Simona versus Mertens, and the outcome depends mostly on Brady’s serve in the match. If Brady serves a storm then she will win her maiden WTA title at the Top Seed Open in Lexington.