The remainder of the first round WTA matches will be completed on Thursday in Indian Wells. The stakes are high in the Californian desert as we’ve reached the final WTA 1000 level event of the season. Kim Clijsters is one of the headline acts of the day as she faces Katerina Siniakova, returning to Indian Wells a decade after her last appearance at the event she won on two occasions. Can Clijsters make a successful return to the event?
As always, we here at LWOT will predict every single match. The rest of the day’s matches are split between three other articles. One features Marketa Vondrousova vs Viktorija Golubic, the second headlines Amanda Anisimova vs Katrina Scott, and the third features Elsa Jacquemot vs Dayana Yastremska.
WTA Indian Wells Day 2 Predictions
Caroline Garcia vs Kirsten Flipkens
H2H: Garcia 2-1
Kirsten Flipkens battled from behind in each of her qualifying matches to move into the main draw. Flipkens trailed unraked local wild card Theadora Rabman by a set and 3-5 but managed to turn things around, saving a few match points in the process. The Belgian then defeated Katarzyna Kawa from a set and a break down. Caroline Garcia continues to disappoint, the former world #3 is having a lackluster season, rarely able to find her best tennis. Nevertheless, Garcia will surely be strong enough to navigate her way past Flipkens. Garcia has all the weapons to hurt Flipkens, especially on a relatively slow hard court. Garcia is stronger off both sides from the back of the court, has a stronger serve and has her own variety and touch to match Flipkens. It would take something special for Garcia to mess this one up, I wouldn’t put it past her.
Prediction: Garcia in 2
Ajla Tomljanovic vs Usue Maitane Arconada
H2H: First meeting.
Usue Maitane Arconada is on a seven-match winning streak. The 22-year-old claimed the equal biggest title of her career last week, capturing the ITF 60K title in Berkeley. The American continued her winning ways through the qualifying draw in Indian Wells thanks to a 6-3 6-0 win over Arina Rodionova and a 4-6 6-4 6-0 win over Beatriz Haddad Maia. Arconada is now reaching new ground, a main draw match at a 1000 level event is one of the biggest matches of her young career, a win here would be huge. Standing in her way is Ajla Tomljanovic. The Aussie is having one of her better seasons in recent times and should be solid enough to come through this one, she’s a class above and is vastly more experienced at this level. Tomljanovic is good at beating opponents that she should beat, she’s pretty reliable in these situations.
Prediction: Tomljanovic in 2
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova vs Ana Konjuh
H2H: First meeting
An interesting match-up; surprisingly, this will be the first career meeting between Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and Ana Konjuh. There’s a serious contrast in styles between these two, Schmiedlova prefers the clay and plays with more margin to her game. Konjuh prefers a quicker surface, her aggressive style of play has little margin for error. Konjuh’s best tennis is better than Schmiedlova’s, but Schmiedlova’s base level is probably good enough to win in this match-up more often than not on a relatively slow surface. Schmiedlova will be able to chase more balls down on this surface, putting pressure on Konjuh to hit closer to the lines. The bouncier conditions in Indian Wells favor Schmiedlova’s heavier game, rather than the flat hitting of Konjuh. I expect the errors will eventually pile up from Konjuh side of the court, enough for Schmiedlova to prevail.
Prediction: Schmiedlova in 3
Katerina Siniakova vs Kim Clijsters
H2H: First meeting
Kim Clijsters is still searching for her first victory since making a comeback to the tour. The Belgian’s last victory on the WTA Tour was almost a decade ago. The 4-time Major champion still has game, but her interrupted comeback is yet to take off. Clijsters played her first match of the season last week in Chicago where she was beaten by Su-Wei Hsieh in three sets. Clijsters has now suffered four losses in her comeback, a pair of respectable straight set losses to Johanna Konta and Garbine Muguruza, followed by a three set loss to Ekaterina Alexandrova at last year’s US Open. The draws haven’t been kind to Clijsters; that trend continues here, Katerina Siniakova looms as a tough opponent.
Katerina Siniakova is on the verge of re-entering the Top 50 thanks to a solid season. Siniakova arrives in Indian Wells on the back of an agonizing final set tiebreak loss to Tereza Martincova in her Chicago opener, a match that lasted over three hours. I suspect Siniakova will return to the winners list here. Siniakova has the variety and power to expose Clijsters’ poor movement. On a relatively slow hard court it will be difficult for Clijsters to overpower Siniakova. There’s no other way for Clijsters to win here because she won’t be able to outlast Siniakova from the back of the court. A Siniakova meltdown is always possible but seemingly unlikely on this occasion.
Prediction: Siniakova in 2
Main Photo from Getty.