It’s been an interesting tournament with some unexpected women showing up in the third round. The Round of 16 awaits the winner of these matches. Here are my predictions for Day 7 in Indian Wells.
WTA Indian Wells Day 7 Predictions
Elina Svitolina vs Ashleigh Barty
Head to head: Svitolina 4-0 Barty
Elina Svitolina’s serve is not doing her any favors. Call it shaky – it’s not the weapon it needs to be to remain in this tournament. Coming up against Ashleigh Barty, who’s returning serve exceptionally well and capitalizing on break points, Svitolina will need to be at her best. And, I don’t think Svitolina can sharpen her serve soon enough to take out Barty. The head-to-head in definitely in Svitolina’s favor, but I’m going to pick against the odds. Barty’s form and focus will put her in her first ever WTA Premier Mandatory quarterfinal.
Prediction: Barty in 2
Wang Qiang vs Bianca Andreescu
It took Qiang nearly three hours to defeat Belgian Elise Mertens. She showed the grit to see it through, but it was a long match, a physical toll, from which she has only a few days to recover. Qiang’s opponent, Canadian teen Andreescu, has reached her career high of #60. She had an easy third round outing. It took her less than an hour to thrash Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele. She exited the Voegele 6-1, 6-2 commanding the court with five aces and stellar shot making. Andreescu is a such a strong player, able to handle shot variety, easily turning defense into offense. The Canadian should find her way to the Round of 16 in straight sets.
Prediction: Andreescu in 2
Marketa Vondrousova vs Simona Halep
Simona Halep has looked pretty good so far. Her Indian Wells run is presenting some nail biting moments, but she’s coming through. Obviously, she’s playing good tennis. My only concern is her ability to remain positive and focused without a coach. There’s no one to talk her off the ledge when she goes through her typical mental lapses. Marketa Vondrousova continues to win matches despite a faltering serve. She will have to drastically improve that to have any chance against Halep. I expect she can break Halep a time or two – her strength has been returning serve. But, Halep should take those breaks in stride and strike back.
Prediction: Halep in 2
Kiki Bertens vs Garbine Muguruza
Head to head: Bertens 2-1 Muguruza
You never know which Garbine Muguruza will show up. Will it be the hard hitting, shot maker who dictates play; or, will it be the Muguruza who can’t hit her shots, find her range and quickly exit? In her match against Serena Williams, she rapidly lost the first three games before Serena’s illness became apparent. Serena retired at the start of the second set, giving Muguruza her ticket to the Round of 16. She’ll need her A game to get through Bertens’ hot streak. Bertens is moving through this tournament like a hot knife through butter. She’s winning 88% of her first serve points and converting 25% of break points. Yet, no one is talking about Bertens. She’s a hot player who’s under the radar – no pressure or expectations to jangle her nerves. I think Bertens fights through Muguruza and will find her way into her first quarterfinal at Indian Wells.
Prediction: Bertens in 3