WTA Indian Wells Semifinal Predictions: Bianca Andreescu vs Elina Svitolina and Belinda Bencic vs Angelique Kerber

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The semifinals are upon us at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. We expect two great matches, and these two won’t disappoint. One semifinalist is a rising star, one is finally returning to good form after a lengthy run of poor form, and two are established top women in the game. Who will move on to the final? Let’s find out.

WTA Indian Wells Semifinal Predictions

Bianca Andreescu vs Elina Svitolina

No history

If she has her way, they’ll be singing “Oh Canada” in Indian Wells on Sunday. The 18-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu has made her presence known on the WTA Tour. Since the start of the year, she’s reached the final in Auckland, the semifinals in Acapulco, and won the Oracle Challenger in Newport Beach. During her quarterfinal round, she demolished Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruz in less than an hour. She has now, in fact, won more matches than any other player on the WTA Tour this year. It’s hard to imagine that winning streak not continuing. I call it variety, she calls it “junk,” you can call it what you will. Her whip-smart shot selection is amazing, unpredictable and cleverly crafted. She’s a true blue contender to take the title in Indian Wells.

Elina Svitolina has shown grit few players can muster. She’s played through many a tough match on her way to the semifinals. She has perhaps spent more time on court than any other player. Yet, each time she’s down, she finds a way out. Her quarterfinal match against Marketa Vondrousova started dismally. She came out sluggish, almost tired – as well she should be. She quickly yielded the first set, and it looked like Vondrousova would march on to the win. And, here’s where Svitolina is a accurately called a champion – she dug in, found a reserve of energy no one though she had, and wrestled this match from Vondrousova’s clutches. A day off  before the semifinal is a much needed break. She’ll bring her fight to Friday.
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Svitolina is the more experienced player. She’s been to these levels before, and obviously knows what it takes to win a difficult match. I’m not sure that will truly be an advantage against Andreescu – she fearlessly arrives, ready to take on the toughest of matches. Like the Mounties of her homeland, Andreescu will be looking to get her man – and I think she can.

Prediction: Andreescu in 3

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Belinda Bencic vs Angelique Kerber

Head to head: Bencic 4-2 Kerber

She was World #7 in 2016 – prior to injuries and a wrist surgery, which bushwhacked her play for some time. She’s back and it’s easy to see the former Top 10 player’s champion form. Now sitting at World #23, Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic plays with pace and precision. She can redirect an opponent’s power shot to an unreachable place, and she can power a shot up the line. She rarely yields her position on the baseline. It’s an all-around game hallmarked by unfathomable control. She hits oh-so-close to the line, but rarely overhits. It’s a subtle blend which frustrates her opponents. In her Dubai title run, she toppled four Top 10 players. And, so far in her Indian Wells run, she’s eliminated World #1 Naomi Osaka and former World #1 Karolina Pliskova. She’s obviously enjoying her resurgence, enjoying her good health, and now looks to enjoy another title.
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In Angelique Kerber we’ve seen the three-time Slam champion show moments of brilliance. And, we’ve seen unexpected errors, neutral balls which couldn’t find the court and soft second serves begging to be punished. Against an obviously injured Venus Williams, Angelique Kerber was stymied. She couldn’t anticipate play, and she wavered. Her win wasn’t helped by her faltering serve. Yet, she defends so well and that is what saw her through. It was a tough match – both physical and mental. She will need to be ready to run in her semifinal match-up against Bencic. Relying solely on her defense just won’t cut it. Kerber will need to find her offensive game, an element she’s worked hard to improve, to prevail.

Belinda Bencic is obviously rocketing through the competition. Every element of her game is spot on. When she hugs the baseline and commands play, she can control each and every point, and that will break down Kerber’s defense. Long points, momentum shifts in a three-set nail biter, but it’s Bencic we’ll see on Sunday.

Prediction: Bencic in 3

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1 COMMENT

  1. I’d just about dare to venture and say that I seriously doubt it if either one of the two players chosen by the author as (his/her) predicted winners of both the upcoming semifinal matches actually pan out. Especially, in the case of the (B. Bencic vs. A. Kerber) match up in particular because Kerber’s a “winning streak” kinda natural born killer and most likely will go onto defeat B. Bencic in the end.

    Also, I believe that it’d do immediate wonders for Kerber and her dismally stagnant and lackluster like performance results thus far in the early portion of the 2019 tennis season for her to just not only win her first premier mandatory event of the year but also her very first Paribas Open (Indian Wells) Championship Title in her whole entire career too.

    That might just be exactly what the doctor ordered hypothetically speaking of course… well I suppose so far as pumping some air back into the deflating lungs barely keeping her fading career from just flat out flatlining altogether is concerned.

    She just needs another big win in order to kickstart her tennis career back up so she can blast her way back up to the top of women’s tennis again and hopefully add a few more major slam championship titles to her career resume before she decides to retire.

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