Some of the title contenders and famous faces of the WTA tour make their Indian Wells bows in the tournament on Day 3. As always with the early rounds of modern WTA tournaments there are some awesome clashes to look out for and we preview four right here.
As always, we predict every match. The day’s 16 matches are split between four articles, including this one. One features Sloane Stephens vs Jessica Pegula, the second highlights Emma Raducanu vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich, and the third features Simona Halep vs Marta Kostyuk.
WTA Indian Wells Day 3 Predictions
Petra Kvitova vs Arantxa Rus
Head-to-head: First meeting
Both players are in their 30s now so it is a slight surprise that they have never met before. In a way this is testament to Rus’ late resurgence in her career. Having sat at a career high of #61 in 2012 she is back in the top 70 now showing good tenacity and longevity. However, Rus may be out of her comfort zone here against Kvitova. The Dutchwoman is clerly a stronger player on clay and actually carries a very poor 2-6 win-loss record on hard courts over the last year. Whilst the Czech can blow hot and cold at times she should have more than enough in her armory to win this one.
Prediction: Kvitova in 2
Magda Linette vs Victoria Azarenka
Head-to-head: Linette 0-1 Azarenka
Whilst Linette is no pushover, especially on a hard court, everything points to Azarenka to come through here. The Belarusian won their previous meeting for the loss of only 3 games, albeit in 2016. Also, she has a much better record on tour over the last year and whilst Linette actually holds the edge of service holds, it is Azarenka who is far superior on return and has the ability to break the Pole’s serve down in this match.
Prediction: Azarenka in 2
Petra Martic vs Iga Swiatek
Head-to-head: First meeting
The first meeting between these two Eastern Europeans and two players at the opposite ends of their careers. Martic is still a capable player of course but I believe that her days of challenging for titles like this lie behind her whilst Swiatek has a genuine shot at winning this. The Pole is running at a 78% winning record across the last year and I can only see that being strengthened with a win here.
Prediction: Swiatek in 2
Leylah Fernandez vs Alize Cornet
Head-to-head: First Meeting
It will be a warm welcome back to the court for the US Open finalist here in Indian Wells. Having not played since that unbelievable run to the final in New York there is a chance that Fernandez opens up feeling a bit rusty. Emotionally, as well as physically, there was a lot to reflect on and build back up for the young Canadian. Cornet could catch her cold and the Frenchwoman isn’t having a bad year at all on the tour. I suspect that finding her US Open level might be beyond Fernandez but the tennis we have seen from her means that she should feel a belonging on this stage and therefore even a sub-par performance in comparison to those levels should be enough for the win.
Prediction: Fernandez in 3
Main Photo from Getty.