WTA Indian Wells Day 5 Predictions Including Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Leylah Fernandez

Jelena Ostapenko in action ahead of the WTA Indian Wells Masters.
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The action is getting very exciting heading into day five at the WTA Indian Wells Open. There are eight third-round matches on the slate and, as ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match, including Petra Kvitova vs Victoria Azarenka. But who will book their place in the last 16?

WTA Indian Wells Day 5 Predictions

Simona Halep vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich

Head-to-head: Halep 1-0 Sasnovich

Aliaksandra Sasnovich produced a quality performance to end Emma Raducanu’s winning streak. Sasnovich prevailed 6-2 6-4 over the reigning US Open champion. Sasnovich also moved through her opening round match in straight sets, picking up a 6-0 6-4 win over María Camila Osorio Serrano. But the Belarusian will surely face a much tougher test in the third round when she comes up against 2015 Indian Wells champion Simona Halep.

The Romanian received a bye through the opening round before starting her campaign by beating Marta Kostyuk 7-6 6-1. Halep should win this quite comfortably. After all, the conditions in Indian Wells suit Halep perfectly. Sasnovich won’t be able to outlast Halep from the back of the court, and it’s hard to see her consistently hitting through through the Romanian. All in all, this looks like a bad match-up for Sasnovich in these conditions.

Prediction: Halep in 2
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Elina Svitolina vs Sorana Cirstea

Head-to-head: Svitolina 2-0

Elina Svitolina and Sorana Cirstea were both untroubled in their opening round matches this week after both received byes through the opening round. Svitolina beat Tereza Martincova 6-2 7-5, whilst Cirstea beat Misaki Doi 6-2 6-3. This looks like a fairly straightforward match-up for Svitolina on paper. Svitolina won their two previous matches in straight sets and is generally a class above Cirstea.

Svitolina is likely to be too solid from the back of the court for the Romanian. Svitolina is mentally tougher and more reliable under pressure in this type of match-up. Based on their usual levels of play it’s an easy decision to pick Svitolina here. Furthermore, the conditions in Indian Wells suit Svitolina well, with the Ukrainian having made the semi-finals here in 2019.

Prediction: Svitolina in 2
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Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Leylah Fernandez

Head-to-head: first meeting

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova stormed past Madison Keys 6-3 6-1 in a ruthless start to her Indian Wells campaign. Leylah Fernandez also produced a strong performance to kick-start her tournament as she beat Alize Cornet 6-2 6-3 in her first match since the US Open final. Pavlyuchenkova and Fernandez are both full of confidence at the moment having both reached maiden Grand Slam finals this year.

On paper, Pavlyuchenkova should have the edge in this match-up. The Russian has the firepower to dominate in this match-up: she has a more powerful serve, heaver groundstrokes and enough variety and touch to make her a genuine threat to any opponent at the moment. On a relatively slow court, the extra power of Pavlyuchenkova will be telling if the Russian maintains her recent high level.

Prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in 2
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Jelena Ostapenko vs Yulia Putintseva

Head-to-head: Putintseva 2-1 Ostapenko

Another matchup of contrasting styles for Jelena Ostapenko as she comes up against Yulia Putintseva. The Latvian kick-started her campaign in the desert with a commanding 6-3 6-0 victory over Su-Wei Hsieh. Meanwhile, Putintseva has scored a pair of straight set victories of her own. A 7-6 6-1 win over Andrea Petkovic, followed by a 6-2 7-6 win over the 13th seeded Elena Rybakina. There’s a bit of spice to this match-up, the two don’t particularly like each other, so expect a fierce contest.

Ostapenko dealt with the variety and skill of Hsieh with ease in the opening round. Putintseva possesses similar threats, but more. Putintseva’s heavy playing style is well suited to the slow, bouncy courts in Indian Wells. The conditions favour Putintseva in this match-up, she will be able to chase down more balls and be able to put Ostapenko in uncomfortable positions. Ostapenko doesn’t like this match-up. Putintseva prevailed 6-2 6-7 6-3 in Cincinnati in 2019 in their most recent meeting and looks likely to do so again here.

Prediction: Putintseva in 3

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