Simona Halep vs Caroline Garcia WTA Rome tennis Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Can top seed, Halep halt confident Garcia in Rome quarters?

Leye Aduloju in WTA 18 May 2018
  • Simona Halep vs Caroline Garcia is live from Rome on Friday, 18 May from 7:30pm local time/ 6:30pm BST
  • Halep leads 3-1 on head-to-head, but this is their first meeting on clay
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Rome at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)
Simona Halep. (Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Simona Halep continues her quest for her first Rome title when she takes on Frenchwoman, Caroline Garcia in the quarter finals on Friday.

Simona Halep vs Caroline Garcia is live from Rome on Friday, 18 May from 7:30pm local time/ 6:30pm BST
Watch and bet on tennis live from Rome at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 

Halep has been locked in a battle with Caroline Wozniacki for the World No. 1 ranking for virtually the entire season, and that position has again been in play this week, with the Romanian needing to reach at least the quarter finals to have any chance of holding on to top spot when the rankings are updated next Monday. She ticked that quarter final box when Madison Keys pulled of their scheduled third-round meeting with a rib injury on Thursday. However, the fight doesn’t end there. With Wozniacki also making the quarter finals in Rome, Halep must go at least one round better than the Dane to keep her No. 1 ranking, thus secure top-seeding for the French Open. 

By her very high standards, Halep has had an underwhelming clay-court season so far. She won only one match in Stuttgart before losing to the clay-averse CoCo Vandeweghe, rather handily too, in the quarter finals. She struggled with a leg injury during that loss, but she looked sharp enough in the opening rounds of her next tournament in Madrid, until she crashed into an inspired Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals; and surrendered a title she had won in the previous two seasons.

Away from the clay, Halep had had a solid start to the year, winning her season opener in Shenzhen and reaching the final of the Australian Open. She then made the last four in Doha; but pulled out of a semi-final meeting with Garbine Muguruza because of a foot injury. She returned to the tour at Indian Wells, again reaching the semi-finals, but she produced her first poor result of the season in Miami, where she was stopped by Agnieszka Radwanska in the third round. 

Halep was expected to dominate the clay court season, much like she did last year when she won Madrid, made finals in Rome and Roland Garros, and reached the semis in Stuttgart, but it has been slightly below par for the Romanian so far, and she will be keen to produce a strong week in Rome just to reaffirm her position as the best clay-court player going around at the moment, ahead of the French Open. She did a bit of that in her Rome opener, dismissing Naomi Osaka for the loss of just one game.

Next up for the No. 1 is woman-in-form, Caroline Garcia, who is looking to keep up her fine spell on clay so far.


Garcia burst through the top-ten gates after completing the unprecedented Wuhan-Beijing double, and making the semis at the WTA Finals in Singapore last season, and while she took her time to get going in the new year, she is starting to motor on the clay.

Caroline Garcia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
An unspectacular but steady start to the season yielded just two quarter finals through her first seven tournaments. The Frenchwoman retired injured from her season-opener in Brisbane, but she recovered in time to play at the Australian Open, where she was beaten in the fourth round by Madison Keys. Another opening round exit followed in St. Petersburg, but she responded with consecutive quarter finals in Doha and Dubai. Garcia made the fourth round at Indian Wells, and then failed to cross the first hurdle in Miami- the third time this season she had lost out in the opening round of a WTA event.  

Clay didn’t particularly begin well for the Frenchwoman, as she was beaten by Alize Cornet in the second round in Charleston, but she has been superb on European clay, making consecutive semi-finals in Stuttgart and Madrid. Can she make it three semi-finals in a row in Rome? 

The 24-year-old has once again been good this week. She started the tournament with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Timea Babos before taking out US Open champion, Sloane Stephens in the second round. Garcia and Stephens held in their opening service games, but the Frenchwoman soon powered away, with the forehand doing most of the damage, as she won five games in a row to take the opening set 6-1. Stephens offered some more resistance in the second set, but Garcia eventually forced the break for the 4-3 lead, and served for the match at 5-4, only to be broken to love with the finish line in sight! 

She however put that behind her to produce a competent tie break, sealing the win with a forehand return winner on her second match point. Garcia had arrived Rome with just one win in her three previous visits to the Italian capital, but she has compiled her best performance by far at the Foro Italico, and there could still be more to come in the coming days.

Halep has the 3-1 lead on head-to-head, with all four previous matches contested on hard courts. Hard to work out who the switch to clay favours in this one. Halep has had some of her finest results on the surface, but Garcia is no slouch on the dirt either, as she buttressed with her performances in the last few weeks. Halep has got the clay-court expertise to neutralize Garcia, but the world number one will have to operate very close to her best to stop the confident Frenchwoman.

Simona Halep vs Caroline Garcia is live from Rome on Friday, 18 May from 7:30pm local time/ 6:30pm BST
Watch and bet on the match live at bet365 > live streaming > Simona Halep vs Caroline Garcia  (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)


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Simona Halep vs Caroline Garcia WTA Rome tennis Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Can top seed, Halep halt confident Garcia in Rome quarters?

Simona Halep and Caroline Garcia meet in the quarter finals of the Italian Open on Friday, Can the top seed stop Garcia in Rome? Read our predictions, preview, and stream the match live online.

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