Starting at 05:00 in the morning, Watson – Mertens is the first match of the Australian Hobart semifinal.
Watson is a UK player, 74th WTA. The best WTA position was at the beginning of 2015 when it was the 38th player in the world. Since then her game has started to decline, but this season seems to have returned a little. In the first tournament of the year, she lost in the last round of qualifying against Kaia Kanepi, but due to the fact that a player retired, she qualified on the main board, where she lost 2-0 to Kontaveit. At this Hobart tournament, she started the “semifinals” course in the qualifiers, succeeding to pass some modest players to this strong match with Mertens. Watson won with Birrell, Hibino, Cirstea, Fourlis and Vekic, 3 of which were players outside the top 100 WTA.
Mertens – She is a young player in Belgium, aged 22. Most Belgians have great hopes with shes, because her game is very good. Mertens is in WTA 36 position, close to the best position he occupied in 2017, 35 WTA. It started the year at the Hopman Cup, where she managed to defeat two very strong opponents like Gavrilova and Bouchard. At this Hobart tournament, she has passed 3 opponents to this semifinals. In tour 1 defeated Kurumi Nara, and in round 2 Habbad Maia. In the last round, Monica Niculescu withdrew, and Mertens had free pass to the semifinal.
The only direct encounter between the two players was in October 2017, when Mertens won the 2-0.
I expect a fairly balanced match because both players move very well in the field and resist rallies. However, I think the difference in value is in favor of the player’s highest rank, so my prognosis goes to her. Mertens also has a good service, and if works in this game, she has a big plus in front of his opponent. My prediction for the Watson – Mertens match is below.
Prediction: Mertens to win, odd 1.61
Stake: 7 units