WTA Indian Wells Day 1 Predictions Including Sloane Stephens vs Heather Watson

Madison Brengle in action ahead of the WTA Indian Wells Open.

Valuable ranking points are up for grabs at the WTA Indian Wells Open, the final WTA-1000 level event of the season. The schedule is packed with entertaining matches on day one and, as always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match, including Magda Linette vs Rebecca Peterson, Andrea Petkovic vs Yulia Putintseva, and Madison Keys vs Kaia Kanepi. Who will prevail?

WTA Indian Wells Day 1 Predictions

Maria Camila Osorio Serrano vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich

Head-to-head: Osorio Serrano 1-0 Sasnovich

The right to face Emma Raducanu in her first match since becoming the US Open champion will be decided here. Maria Camila Osorio Serrano easily defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich in their only previous meeting, winning 6-4 6-2 on clay in Belgrade earlier this year. Clay is the Colombian’s best surface, the Belarusian’s worst surface. Sasnovich would fancy her chances in this match-up on a hard court. However, the hard courts in Indian Wells are as close as it gets to clay and Sasnovich’s recent form is nothing special. Osorio Serrano is the more reliable competitor, she’s feisty and on the rise. I feel Osorio Serrano has something a little extra to give her the edge in these conditions against an uninspiring opponent.

Prediction: Osorio Serrano in 3
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Sloane Stephens vs Heather Watson

Head-to-head: Watson 4-2 Stephens

Heather Watson has amassed a disappointing 11-19 win/loss record in 2021 and arrives in Indian Wells on a 4-match losing streak. Watson’s chances of turning things around against Stephens look slim despite her positive record against the American. Stephens has steadily rebuilt her game over the last few months but is coming off a miserable opening round loss to Tamara Zidansek in Chicago last week where she won just three games.

This will be the first meeting between the pair in over five years, making their head-to-head record somewhat redundant. It’s surprising to see Watson carry a positive record in this match-up. On paper it should suit Stephens. There’s a lot of similarities between the pair, both quick around the court, both rely on their movement and consistency from the baseline. Stephens possesses extra firepower, especially off her forehand and has more variety and flare to her game. A big event in the USA is usually where Stephens thrives.

Prediction: Stephens in 2
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Petra Martic vs Katie Volynets

Head-to-head: first meeting

Petra Martic has been struggling in recent times but should be able to make a winning start in Indian Wells. It may not be easy, Martic lost five of her last six matches and continues to slide down the rankings, but her opponent’s record is perhaps even worse. Katie Volynets has lost eight of her last nine matches, including multiple losses to players ranked outside the top 200. Martic may be struggling, but she’s still a class above the young American. Expect the versatility and experience of Martic to be enough to get her through this match-up quite comfortably, particularly because the conditions in Indian Wells should suit Martic’s game.

Prediction: Martic in 2
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Madison Brengle vs Hsieh Su-wei

Head-to-head: Brengle 2-2 Hsieh

This should be a fascinating match-up between two of the most unorthodox players on tour. Expect long rallies filled with variety when Madison Brengle takes on Hsieh Su-wei. The slower conditions, especially at night when the match will take place could be the biggest deciding factor, conditions that favour the American in this match-up. Hsieh has the better touch and is the more aggressive of the two, but she will find it hard to hit through Brengle in these conditions. Brengle has won the last couple of matches between the pair, both on a hard court. This doesn’t look like a good match-up for Hsieh. Hsieh is used to bamboozling her opponents with her variety, but that won’t work in this match-up. Brengle may eventually ware down the resistance of Hsieh.

Prediction: Brengle in 3

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