It might not be the Shenzhen Open final that most fans wanted, but it’s still a final that’s full of intrigue – World No.1 Simona Halep will compete against Katerina Siniakova with both players gunning for their second Shenzhen title. Who will win? Read on for the dedicated match preview…
Shenzhen Open Final
 Simona Halep (No.1) vs  Katerina Siniakova (No.46)
After ending 2017 as World No.1, Simona Halep has continued her good form in the first tournament of the year at the Shenzhen Open where she has only dropped one set enroute to the tournament. Halep defeated Nicole Gibbs in straight sets, before enduring a three-set match against Duan Ying-Ying in which was the toughest match of the tournament. Halep has largely improved since then, breezing past Aryna Sabalenka and fellow countrywoman Irina-Camelia Begu with the loss of just nine games. The first set was a quick one, but the second set was a topsy-turvy one where breaks were exchanged in succession. She managed though to reel of four out of five games at the end to end her winner tally of the match at 15. Simona is also aiming for the Shenzhen double, where she also reached the doubles final with Begu.
Katerina Siniakova is on a nine-match winning streak at the Shenzhen Open and just seems to like this tournament a lot. Siniakova notably beat Halep and Johanna Konta enroute to the title last year, and this time round beat her idol Maria Sharapova in three tough sets. Siniakova comfortably won the first set with a slew of Maria errors, but as expected the latter’s typical fighting qualities brought the set into the decider. Siniakova won three games in a row from 2-2 onwards, and needed four match points to eventually close out the Russian n a rally that featured THREE Siniakova slips! Siniakova impresses further in 2018 – her defence was just impeccable (especially in the third) and her serve has improved greatly from last year, hitting a total of 23 aces throughout the tournament (including 10 against Maria). Halep will be a much difficult task for Siniakova but she knows how it feels like to beat the Romanian. Let’s see what happens…
Head to head: As mentioned above, Siniakova won their recent and only encounter at last year’s Shenzhen edition in a 6-3 4-6 7-5 victory, though Halep was pretty much injured during that match.
Thoughts: Siniakova has showed that she can compete the rest and if she produces some peak form she certainly can make the upset. Siniakova’s weapons involve a huge first serve, strong groundstrokes and good play at the net, but I believe if Halep is at her counter-punching best she can neutralise all of these weapons. I think this could be a close one but Halep will come up tops with her defence and experience at the end.
Prediction: Simona Halep d. Katerina Siniakova in three sets
Shenzhen predictions are here, you can find them at the menu at the top of the blog as well. Thanks for reading! 🙂