Top-seeded Romanian Simona Halep will face the Ukranian Lesia Tsurenko in her opening match at the 2019 WTA Qatar Total Open in Doha. The fixture will start after 6 pm local time (3 pm BST).
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Simona Halep v Lesia Tsurenko Head to Head
Halep and Tsurenko have played each other a total of five times in their careers so far. Not so surprisingly, Halep has won all of those matches as she presently leads by 5-0 in the head to head tally.
They last met in the quarterfinal of the 2018 Cincinnati Open, where the Romanian No. 1 sailed to a comfortable victory in straight sets.
A Mixed Start for Halep
Simona Halep started this season without a coach as she wanted to see how she would fare without the guidance of a professional. However, that didn’t turn out quite the way she expected – she lost in the second round in Sydney and in the fourth round in the Australian Open.
She started the year as World No. 1 but slipped down to the third place following her loss of form. However, there is a silver lining to all of this – she won both of her Fed Cup fixtures against the Czech team and took Romania to the next round in the competition.
Halep has now appointed a new coach – Thierry Van Cleemput, who is set to make his official debut with the Romanian in Doha this week. It will be an important week for the Romanian and needless to mention, she will be keen on getting back to the top.
Tsurenko – A Player Not to be Taken Lightly
The 27-year-old Ukranian has had a rather interesting start to the competition. In her opening match, she dispatched the Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena with 6-4, 6-0, sending a strong message to her opponent.
Earlier this season, she was also the runner-up in Brisbane where she defeated Naomi Osaka in the semifinal. However, she ultimately succumbed to Karolina Pliskova in the final. As for her run in the Australian Open, she lost in the second round to Amanda Anisimova.
Tsurenko is currently seeking her first singles title since the Mexican Open last year. While it was not the most consistent year for the Ukranian, she reached the quarterfinal at the Flushing Meadows and in Cincinnati. Through the year, she was a constant part of the top 30.
Halep v Tsurenko – Who Will Win?
Halep will start this match as the favourite to win. She has a psychological advantage over Tsurenko in the form of her 5-0 lead in the head to head tally. Plus, given her recent form and experience, it will be highly difficult for the Ukranian to deliver the massive upset here. Nonetheless, it is a small possibility as the Romanian is not so immune to the underdogs.
You can watch & bet on Simona Halep v Lesia Tsurenko on Wednesday, February 13, after 6:00 pm local time.