Main draw action at Indian Wells begins today. Rainy weather will threatening play but desert storms pass quickly. So if you’re heading out to the courts, bring an umbrella and some sunscreen.
WTA Indian Wells Day 1
Daria Gavrilova vs Dayana Yastremska
Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska is a fierce competitor who’s skyrocketing up the rankings, thanks in part to winning the Thailand Open in February. Currently holding World #37, she is a fearless player capable of creating winners. Across the net will be Daria Gavrilova whose 2019 is anything but great. She hasn’t won a match in her last six attempts, and probably won’t win today.
Prediction: Yastremska in 2
Anna Schmiedlova vs Lauren Davis
Head to head: Schmiedlova 0-1 Davis
Anna Schmiedlova will be hoping to avoid a repeat of her 2015 meet-up with Lauren Davis. Four years ago, Lauren Davis had an amazing run in Indian Wells and easily moved Schmiedlova out other path with a 6-2 6-2 victory. I don’t expect the same outcome today. The 24-year-old Slovakian is capable of great tennis, but has lacked the ability to consistently put all of the pieces together. When it happens, Schmiedlova is a player who can beat anyone. American Lauren Davis, standing at a petite 5’2”, is a feisty and contemplative player with good movement, but she lacks the big weapons. Davis may make Schmiedlova uncomfortable from time to time, but those moments will be fleeting, and the World #63 Schmiedlova should be able to exit Lauren Davis’ run in a straight sets victory.
Prediction: Schmiedlova in 2
Vera Lapko vs Victoria Azarenka
Vera Lapko and Victoria Azarenka will meet on Stadium 1 in the BNP Paribas Main Draw first round. While Azarenka is the oddsmakers’ favorite, this match-up is no easy go for her. Lapko has a powerful forehand and can take this match if she plays aggressive, first-strike tennis. To date, Lapko’s biggest win came in Hobart where Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova fell 6-1 6-4 to the World #62. Unless Lapko can take control of the points, Azarenka will exploit Lapko’s subpar movement. Any strategy to draw Lapko wide will open the court for Azarenka to end the point. Lapko’s power will then be negated by her challenged movement. Azarenka is rebuilding the form which landed her at World #1. Her time spent in courtrooms versus on court, when she battled for custody, dropped her far down in the rankings. But, she was World #1 for a reason – she has the talent, the weapons and now distraction-free, the desire.
Prediction: Azarenka in 2
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