Wimbledon third round preview: Simona Halep vs Kiki Bertens

The 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist, Simona Halep will be pleased with her progress through the draw so far as she hasn't dropped a set en route to the third round.

Kiki Bertens, the surprise story of the French Open was told by the Dutch Tennis Federation that she had to reach the fourth round of Roland Garros to make their Olympic team for Rio 2016.

The fifth seed was in the running to potentially finish as the world number one at the end of the tournament, but that was virtually ended as Serena Williams, the current number one in the rankings won her first match.

Bertens had to withdraw from her home grass court event at the Ricoh Open prior to Wimbledon, due to a thigh injury she sustained at the French Open, however, she has looked well in her opening two matches at SW19.

How they got here

The 2014 French Open finalist, Simona Halep made the third round on the lawns of Wimbledon with ease. The Romanian number one dismissed Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-4, 6-1 in the first round.

In her second round match, Halep overcame 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 6-1. Halep displayed good attacking and defensive tennis, making life on the court difficult for Schiavone.

Bertens has been equally impressive as Halep and coming into this third round meeting, the Dutch number one hasn't dropped a set en route. 

The Dutch star had a 6-3, 6-2 win over feisty Latvian, Jelena Ostapenko and in the second round, Bertens ousted Mona Barthel 6-4, 6-4 to reach the third round of Wimbledon for the first time in her career.

Kiki Bertens in action against Mona Barthel (Photo by Shaun Botterill / Source : Getty Images)
Kiki Bertens in action against Mona Barthel (Photo by Shaun Botterill / Source : Getty Images)

Their history

Halep and Bertens have played each other once on the WTA tour and it is the Dutch player who leads their head-to-head 1-0.

Their first tour meeting was in the semifinals of the Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Fes, Morocco on clay which Bertens was victorious 6-3, 6-4. Bertens was a qualifier at the event and she went on to win the title.

Halep on Bertens

Following her victory over Schiavone, Halep spoke to the press. "It will be a tough one, I know her, she's in good form now. She played semis I think in French Open, It's different here, it's grass, I played against her many years ago, so I don't know pretty I don't know her very well but It's gonna be a tough one, It's gonna be a good challenge for me and why not? I have to believe that I can win it."

The Romanian talks about Bertens' French Open run

Halep also added, "No I was not surprised because I knew her since many years ago, like I said, and she plays different a little bit, under the ball, and the ball is coming different. She's strong. She has power. She serves well. I was not surprised that she's doing good job."

Who wins

Halep showed all of her skills in her victories over Schmeidlova and Schiavone, the Romanian is a good mover and especially on her worst surface the grass she needs to dictate play as she could be overpowered by big hitters on the grass.

Bertens has a good serve and she can exchange in long rallies from the baseline but she isn't one of the best movers on tour and Halep could throw in a few drop shots to get her uncomfortable positions.

This match was supposed to take place today on No.2 Court but rain took over and forced this match to be cancelled.

The 26th seed believes that she can beat the best players as she took Serena Williams to two close sets at the French Open in the semifinals and knocked out Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber in the first round.

Halep will be hoping for another good run at Wimbledon under the tutelage of Darren Cahill and finally live up to her expectation and win a Grand Slam singles title.

The winner of this match will play Alize Cornet or ninth seed Madison Keys in the fourth round.

This match is scheduled first on Centre Court at 1pm local time.

Prediction: Halep in straight sets