The Best of the Day preview smashes a forehand down the line with tennis tips for Aussie hope Ajla Tomljanovic’s big assignment against Simona Halep in Adelaide.
19:00 (AEDT) @ Memorial Drive Tennis Centre, Adelaide
History: Played 2: Halep 2 V Tomljanovic 0
Last meeting: French Open, 2019 (R128): Halep d Tomljanovic 6-2 3-6 6-1
Final thoughts: Aussie star Ajla Tomljanovic confronts second seed Simona Halep in the second round of the Adelaide International as the Best of the Day tennis focus continues.
World No.52 Tomljanovic put away the 34th-ranked Yulia Putintseva 7-6 6-2 in the opening round. That result followed on from an encouraging three-set loss to big gun Karolina Pliskova in the Brisbane International last week.
🎾 | Ajla Tomljanovic overcame a slow start to triumph over world No. 34 Yulia Putintseva in the women’s round one of the Adelaide International tournament today.https://t.co/cFdj9km16m
— The Advertiser Sport (@TheTiserSport) January 13, 2020
The 26-year-old’s late-2019 Asia swing included an upset of Kiki Bertens in Zhengzhou. But she finished with a string of early tournament exits.
A popular figure Down Under courtesy of her 2018 Australian Open final appearance, Halep will be eager for a big lead-in to the year’s first grand slam.
— Adelaide International (@AdelaideTennis) January 13, 2020
The reigning Wimbledon champ gained a pass straight through to the second round in Adelaide. She has not played a singles match since the WTA Finals group stage in October.
The pair have met twice previously – at the 2018 Cincinnati Masters and the 2019 French Open. Halep won both, but Tomljanovic took the superstar to three sets in each encounter.
Halep heads in as a hot $1.28 Best of the Day favourite to take the win. But there is bound to be some early-season rust from the Romanian. Putintseva has looked very solid in Brisbane and Adelaide, with her service game impressing.
Halep should find a way through – but she’ll have to work hard for it.