WTA Indian Wells Day 5 Predictions Including Petra Kvitova vs Victoria Azarenka

Petra Kvitova in action ahead of the WTA Indian Wells Open.
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Day five at the WTA Indian Wells event features numerous exciting matchups as the third round matches commence. A battle between a pair of Grand Slam champions headlines the action, but there should be entertaining action just about everywhere you look in ‘Tennis Paradise’. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match, including Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Leylah Fernandez. But who will reach the round of 16?

WTA Indian Wells Day 5 Predictions

Jessica Pegula vs Jasmine Paolini

Head-to-head: Pegula 1-0 Paolini

Jasmine Paolini has exceeded all expectation this week. The Italian moved through the qualifying draw as the top seed with wins over Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6-1 6-4 and Kateryna Kozlova 6-1 6-3. Paolini progressed through the first few rounds of the main draw with see-sawing three set wins over Mai Hontama, 6-0 3-6 6-2, and the 14th seeded Elise Mertens, 3-6 6-4 6-4. Unfortunately, this is where the Italian’s run is likely to come to an end.

Jessica Pegula made a statement in her opening match of the week by beating the dangerous Sloane Stephens 6-2 6-3. Pegula should be too strong from the back of the court for Paolini. In a match-up between two counterpunchers and quick movers, it is Pegula who has more firepower and the greater experience at this level.

Prediction: Pegula in 2
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Iga Swiatek vs Veronika Kudermetova

Head-to-head: Swiatek 1-0 Kudermetova

Iga Swiatek defeated Veronika Kudermetova 6-3 6-3 at the US Open last year in their only previous meeting. The Pole is the second seed in Indian Wells and one of the favourites to go on to win the title. So far, she has worn that tag lightly: Swiatek made a strong start to the tournament with a 6-1 6-3 hammering of Petra Martic. Kudermetova also looked strong in her opening round win as she beat Ludmilla Samsonova 6-2 6-3. The slow, bouncy courts in Indian Wells suit Swiatek’s game very well, not so much for Kudermetova. I expect Swiatek to be too strong here, she has much more margin and consistency to her powerful game, Kudermetova is streakier and more unreliable.

Prediction: Swiatek in 2
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Shelby Rogers vs Irina-Camelia Begu

Head-to-head: Rogers 1-0 Begu

This a good opportunity for both Shelby Rogers and Irina-Camelia Begu with this looking like a winnable match for both. Rogers and Begu are each yet to drop a set this week. Rogers defeated Anhelina Kalinina 7-6 6-2 and Kristina Kucova 6-2 6-2, whilst Begu beat Fiona Ferro 6-2 7-6 and Jil Teichmann 7-5 6-1. There’s seemingly very little to separate these two, with each having somewhat similar abilities. The slower conditions suit both players quite well, though they do perhaps suit Begu slightly more in this match. Either way, Begu, who seemingly has a little less to lose and has the more notable victory this week having beat an in-form Jil Teichmann in the previous round, should just about have the edge.

Prediction: Begu in 3
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Petra Kvitova vs Victoria Azarenka

Head-to-head: Kvitova 5-3 Azarenka

A blockbuster match-up between a pair of two-time major champions. The power of Petra Kvitova against the counterpunching of Victoria Azarenka. Neither of the two have had a particularly great season by their usual high standards so it’s hard to know what to expect here. Azarenka is probably more likely to win here due to her greater consistency, Kvitova will have to do more to win. Kvitova needs to be striking cleanly enough to overpower Azarenka, not an easy thing to do on a relatively slow hard court. The pair haven’t gone head-to-head often in recent years, so it will be interesting to see how this one unfolds. I’ll stick with the safer pick in Azarenka, she usually thrives against big hitters where she absorbs and redirects power better than most.

Prediction: Azarenka in 3

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