Looking to move on the quarter finals, there’ll be some strong competition. Powerhouse Danielle Collins will be pitted against World #1 Naomi Osaka. Venus will take on fellow American Christina McHale. Also in action is Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber. Here are predictions on four third round matches.
WTA Indian Wells Day 6 Predictions
Venus Williams vs Christina McHale
Venus continues to find a way to win even with her challenged service. Her medical timeouts during each of her first two matches concern me. But, chalking up wins in two hard-fought matches negates that. Christina McHale has also struggled with her serve. She has no chance to win if she doesn’t bring her best. Venus is a slow started, so McHale will find success in the first few games. Success will be short-lived. By game six, I expect this to go quickly. Venus will win in straight sets.
Prediction: Venus in 2
Naomi Osaka vs Danielle Collins
Head to head: Osaka 1-0 Collins
Two hard-hitting, champion warriors will clash on the court in the third round. Osaka put in a commanding performance against Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic. Sure, Mladenovic was able to break her serve. But each time Osaka came right back. American Danielle Colllins always walks onto court intent on a win – a self-confident swagger, a champion’s aura. Collins has a following among the Americans, though perhaps not the level of fan support Naomi achieves. Collins’ heavy pace is her weapon, one which Osaka can turn against her. Expect Osaka to use that pace for clever redirection. Collins will need to be nimble, quick and ready to rifle off winners against the World #1. I hate to go against Collins – she consistently proves me wrong. But Osaka is in top form, the defending champion. She’ll be pushed but she’ll prevail.
Prediction: Osaka in 3
Ysaline Bonaventure vs Karolina Pliskova
Head to head: Bonaventure 0-2 Pliskova
Belgian Ysaline Bonaventure has already surprised. She got into the main draw by winning two qualifying matches. Few thought a player ranked 55 places lower would win. She rallied to take out Taylor Townsend after faltering in the first set. Donna Vekic didn’t fare any better against Bonaventure’s aggressive game plan. Karolina Pliskova, a far better player than Vekic or Townsend, will engage her own first strike tennis. Combine that with her consistent and technically sound game, and I doubt Bonaventure can withstand.
Prediction: Pliskova in 2
Natalia Vikhlyantseva vs Angelique Kerber
Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva has had an amazing tournament run. Unfortunately it’s about to come to an end. She’ll meet stellar defender Angelique Kerber. Vikhlyantseva was able to exit Carla Suarez Navarro through her strong return game. But, Kerber is accustomed to strong returners. And her own return game is her bread and butter. Kerber will be prepared for Vikhlyantseva’s good returns, and employ her defensive skills. Vikhlyantseva doesn’t have the power to blow her off the court, especially on Indian Wells’ slow courts. I wish Vikhlyantseva had a different draw. I’d love to see her stick around. But, against Kerber, I don’t see that happening.
Prediction: Kerber in 2