Being world number two comes with its rewards as it does mean Simona Halep is on the opposite side of the draw to Serena Williams and also Maria Sharapova for the US Open but with the third seed withdrawing with injury prior to the tournament not only does this mean that Simona can hopefully go far in the competition but also add points and point more daylight between herself and Maria Sharapova who is currently ranked at number three in the world. Simona has already seen off Marina Erakovic and was 6-2 3-0 up against the New Zealander before she retired with an injury.
After making the final in Cincinnati Simona did decide to miss New Haven which in my opinion was the right decision ahead of the US Open as they last thing you want is to go into Flushing Meadows with an injury and/or feeling tired. Simona did look very impressive against Erakovic despite obviously the match not finishing. It is a good start for Halep however she now faces another challenge in Kateryna Bondarenko who recently won her 350th career match on the tour but is ranked just outside the top 100 in the world. She is a good player but I don’t believe she has the game which can challenge Simona Halep in my opinion. Bondarenko is a good shot maker but against a player who likes to dominate the baseline and move in making shots on the run isn’t her main strength and can drop the ball short. However I did see Bondarenko play and defeat Venus Williams in two sets at the Istanbul Cup earlier on in the year however I didn’t think Bondarenko really played that well and there was helped out by a number of errors by Venus.
I do expect a straight sets win for Halep, a quick start is important and if she can get her game going on the baseline with the backhand down the line the main weapon of Halep’s. This will be the first ever meeting between the two players and I certainly expect Halep to win the match.