Simona Halep vs Ekaterina Makarova WTA Washington tennis preview, predictions and tips: Halep faces former top 10 player Makarova for semi-final spot

Andrew Hendrie in WTA 4 Aug 2017
  • Simona Halep vs Ekaterina Makarova is live from Washington at 2.00pm local time on Friday (7.00pm BST)
  • Halep won three of their four previous meetings
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Washington at bet365 > sports > live streaming tennis
Simona Halep (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Simona Halep continues her Citi Open campaign on Friday when she takes on experienced three-time Washington semi-finalist Ekaterina Makarova in the quarter-finals.

Watch and bet on Halep vs Makarova live from Washington at bet365 > sports > live streaming tennis. Their quarter-final contest begins at 2.00pm local time on Friday (7.00pm BST).



World No. 2 Simona Halep has a tough quarter-final encounter on her hands as she continues her Citi Open title quest on Friday, squaring off with former top 10 player Ekaterina Makarova. Halep, who is making her debut in the American capital, is playing her first tournament since suffering a disappointing quarter-final loss at Wimbledon, but the Romanian is hoping to put that result behind her as she attempts to generate some momentum during her first event of the US Open Series. Looking to stop her in the last eight is Russian veteran Makarova, who is always a dangerous competitor and gunning for a fourth semi-final in Washington. Halep and Makarova take to court at 2.00pm local time on Friday (7.00pm BST).

Competing in her first event since Wimbledon and making her Citi Open debut, Halep has come through a pair of tricky matches to secure her spot in the quarter-finals. Up first was Sloane Stephens, who despite only just returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines with injury, is a tough test in the opening round of any tournament, but after taking the first set in a tiebreak, Halep was able to run away with the match and complete a 7-6(3) 6-0 victory.

Things got a lot more challenging on Thursday however, with Halep struggling in the sweltering Washington heat and humidity against Mariana Duque-Marino of Columbia. Halep was forced to rally from a set down and really lift her game towards the business end of the second before gaining ascendancy in the clash, but after taking the match into a decider the top seed began to find her range, finishing strongly to register a 3-6 6-4 6-2 triumph.

It will be interesting to see how Halep performs throughout the duration of the North American hardcourt summer. Three times already in 2017 she’s been within touching distance of the No. 1 ranking - first at the French Open, where she lost her second grand slam final in agonising fashion after leading the unseeded Jelena Ostapenko by a set-and-a-break before the Latvian powered her way to victory. Halep had the No. 1 spot in her sights again in Eastbourne, but those hopes evaporated with a three-set loss to Caroline Wozniacki, while again the Romanian faltered at Wimbledon, losing in the quarter-finals to Johanna Konta.


But Halep, if she keeps playing well, will almost certainly have chances to claim the No. 1 ranking over the next month, especially with Karolina Pliskova defending title-winning points in Cincinnati and semi-final points from the US Open. However Halep also has a lot of points to defend after winning the Rogers Cup in Toronto and making the semis of Cincinnati and the quarters at the US Open. Which makes winning a title here in Washington all the more valuable - can she navigate her next obstacle on Friday?


Ekaterina Makarova (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Ekaterina Makarova remains one of the more dangerous lower-ranked players going around on tour, even though she hasn’t been playing her best tennis for the last two seasons. A former World No. 8 and two-time grand slam semi-finalist, Makarova has slid down the rankings throughout 2016 and 2017, coming into the Citi Open at 58 in the world.

In fact, this is Makarova’s first quarter-final of the season, with her only other highlights in 2017 coming in January when she made the R16 at the Australian Open, claiming the scalp of Dominika Cibulkova before losing to Johanna Konta, and at the French Open, where she defeated Angelique Kerber in the first round but ended up going down to Lesia Tsurenko in her next match. However Makarova clearly loves the conditions in Washington, with the 29-year-old making the semi-finals on all three of her previous visits in 2013 (lost to Rybarikova), 2014 (Kuznetsova) and 2015 (Pavlyuchenkova).

Makarova has continued her love affair with the Citi Open this week, claiming a pair of straight sets wins over Jamie Loeb and Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig to secure her place in the quarter-finals. The Russian enjoys the North American hardcourts, reaching her first grand slam semi-final at the US Open in 2014, beating Eugenie Bouchard and Victoria Azarenka before going down to Serena Williams, while she also made the quarter-finals in New York in 2013 and the semi-finals in Canada in 2014.

Halep takes a 3-1 record over Makarova into this contest, but the Russian has beaten her in a big match on hardcourts before - the 2015 Australian Open quarter-finals, where she dominated during a crushing 6-4 6-0 victory. Halep won their last match at Indian Wells in 2016 rather comfortably, but after an energy-sapping match on Thursday, this could prove a lot trickier. Makarova isn’t playing her best, but she’s always tough to beat, especially when she generates some momentum. Halep should be able to battle her way to victory, but don’t be surprised if this one goes the distance.


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Simona Halep vs Ekaterina Makarova WTA Washington tennis preview, predictions and tips: Halep faces former top 10 player Makarova for semi-final spot

Simona Halep continues her Citi Open campaign on Friday when she takes on experienced three-time Washington semi-finalist Ekaterina Makarova in the quarter-finals.

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