Day 3 of a strange Indian Wells in October features some of the bigger WTA names in action such as former Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion Simona Halep and world #4 and Olympic Bronze medalist Elina Svitolina. Let’s see what will happen.
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 Leylah Fernandez vs Alize Cornet.
WTA Indian Wells Day 3 Predictions
Veronika Kudermetova vs Ludmilla Samsonova
Head-to-head: Samsonova 1-0
With just one meeting between the two, which was earlier this year on the grass, there isn’t much to choose between the two Russians who are also separated by just 11 places in the rankings. Despite being the higher ranked of the two, though, Kudermetova has has a very rough five months–winning back-to-back matches just once. It must be said that Kudermetova’s form lately has been pretty shocking, too but I give her the very slight edge here.
Prediction: Kudermetova in 2
Sorana Cirstea vs Misaki Doi
Head-to-head: Cirstea 3-0
The Romanian comes into Indian Wells with back-to-back losses–and with no disrespect to Doi, this is almost as perfect as a first round encounter could be to get back to winning ways. It’s hard to see the Japanese finding a way to hurt Cirstea while it’s also hard to imagine the world #40 not being solid enough to win this fairly routinely. Things will most likely get a lot harder in the next round with potentially fourth seed Svitolina awaiting but a win under Cirstea’s belt before that encounter could do her wonders.
Prediction: Cirstea in 2
Tereza Martincova vs Elina Svitolina
There are times where I think Martincova has somewhat pulled her career together and is ready to rise up the ranks, but whenever she shows glimpses of it, very rarely does it last. Now 26 years old, you would think it may never happen but there’s no doubt here and there she can pull off an upset. Svitolina is in great form, though. She won Chicago at the end of August followed by a close US Open quarterfinal loss, so an upset is very hard to see. Like the Ukrainian often does, she’ll simply wear the lower ranked players into breaking down and beating themselves. It’s hard to see anything different happening here.
Prediction: Svitolina in 2
Marta Kostyuk vs Simona Halep
Now ranked outside the top 15 and married, it’s a pretty new Simona Halep we’re seeing–and unfortunately on the court that’s not a good thing due to a string of injuries. Things looked a bit more promising in New York, but a routine fourth round loss against Svitolina perhaps showed us where the Romanian’s real level was. This is just one of those matches though where despite Kostyuk being an upcoming teen, it’s one where Halep really should be able to put in a decent-like performance to win. I can’t see Halep going very far this week, but expect a win here.
Prediction: Halep in 2
Main Photo from Getty.