WTA Indian Wells Day 2 Predictions Including Marketa Vondrousova vs Viktorija Golubic

Marketa Vondrousova Tokyo Olympics

The final U.S. stop of the 2021 WTA calendar kicked off yesterday in Indian Wells, though Day 2 will be filled with just as much women’s singles action! This WTA 1000 in the Californian desert is many players’ final hope for a big result that would take them into the WTA Finals in Guadalajara. 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 Katerina Siniakova vs Kim Clijsters, the second headlines Amanda Anisimova vs Katrina Scott, and the third features Elsa Jacquemot vs Dayana Yastremska.

WTA Indian Wells Day 2 Predictions

Mayar Sherif vs Danka Kovinic

Head-to-head: first meeting

Sherif has had a breakthrough season, starting at No. 128 and now sitting comfortably inside the Top 100 at No. 74. The Egyptian won her first title at a WTA 125 in Karlsruhe as well as reaching a final at a 250 in Cluj-Napoca and two ITF 60 finals. Sherif has taken a month-long break from the tour after the title and will be hoping to translate her clay success onto hard courts, which she has struggled to do this year, having an 8-9 record on the surface.

Her opponent, Danka Kovinic, has had an odd year. The Montenegrin reached the biggest result of her career in her run to the final at the WTA 500 in Charleston, earning wins over Petra Kvitova, Ons Jabeur, or Leylah Fernandez. She then followed it up with a semifinal at a 250 played in the same venue the next week. That was in April and in the six months since, Kovinic has won only three matches. Sherif’s form on hard courts this season might be middling but Kovinic’s record outside of the Charleston is just bad, so the Egyptian should set up a second-round clash with the 29th seed Nadia Podoroska.
Prediction: Sherif in 2

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Donna Vekic vs Astra Sharma

Head-to-head: first meeting

Vekic’s season unfortunately never really got going. The 25-year-old has had some highlights, such as her fourth-round run at the Australian Open and second-round win over Aryna Sabalenka at the Olympics, but she has not been able to put together a good run of results. Coming into Indian Wells, Vekic is dragging a four-match losing streak with her, hoping to snap it under the hot Californian sun. Her opponent, Astra Sharma, has had a good season with a 24-20 record so far and her first WTA title, winning the WTA 250 in Charleston. The Australian qualified for the main draw here with wins over two wild cards outside of the Top 350, Elvina Kalieva and Peyton Stearns, so Vekic should be a far sterner test. The match should be close, but Sharma’s confidence should help her beat a Vekic struggling for consistency.
Prediction: Sharma in 3

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Nao Hibino vs Zarina Diyas

Head-to-head: Hibino 3-2 Diyas

Diyas has had an average year, going 19-19 on the season so far without any particularly significant wins. The third-round at the Australian Open is the highlight of her 2021 so far. The Kazakh does enjoy hard courts though and she qualified past Kurumi Nara and Olga Govortsova without any trouble. Her opponent, Nao Hibino,┬áhas had a really poor year, going 7-20 and winning only one match since the French Open and only one match on hard all season. The 26-year-old hasn’t won a set since her opening round at Wimbledon and it’s difficult to see her turn the tide against Diyas, despite the positive 3-2 head-to-head. I expect Diyas to win in straights again as Hibino’s level is not much higher than that of her qualifying opponents.
Prediction: Diyas in 2

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Marketa Vondrousova vs Viktorija Golubic

Head-to-head: first meeting

The 2019 Roland Garros finalist has had a breakthrough year on hard courts, going 21-9 on the surface in 2021. Vondrousova has had a career result, earning Silver at the Tokyo Olympics. But even more important than that, the young Czech has had consistency since. Vondrousova has reached at least the quarterfinals at three of her last four events, most recently reaching the semifinals at the third WTA Chicago event. Vondrousova has also had previous success on the slow hard courts at Indian Wells, reaching the fourth round in 2018 and quarterfinals in 2019.

The only potential concern for the 22-year-old is that she gave a walkover in her last match less than a week ago, though the reason listed is a gastrointestinal illness, so it should not be an issue at this point. Her opponent, Viktorija Golubic, was a real force in the first half of the season, reaching two WTA finals in Monterrey and Lyon alongside a lot more ITF-level success. The 28-year-old then translated her form into a Slam quarterfinal at Wimbledon. Since then, Golubic has won only two matches, both against Maria Camila Osorio Serrano, and the slower surface here will not help her. Vondrousova should advance to the second round to set up an intriguing match-up with sixth-seeded Maria Sakkari.
Prediction: Vondrousova in 2

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