The WTA Indian Wells tournament is really beginning to heat up now and some of these Day 6 matches are top quality. The heat in the day is affecting the players somewhat but it really is a showcase of how deep the WTA Tour is at the moment. Who will progress into the latter stages though? We also predict the rest of the day’s matches in a separate article.
WTA Indian Wells Day 5 Predictions
Tamara Zidansek vs Alja Tomljanovic
Head-to-head: Zidansek 2-4 Tomljanovic
These two must have been glad of the break in tennis so they could stop playing each other. All of their previous meetings happened within a year and probably went the way most would’ve expected at the time with the higher ranked Australian coming out on top more often. However, I think Zidansek has really improved as a player over the last year or so, the rankings would suggest that too as the Slovenian is now the higher ranked of the two. There is little to separate them on hard court form and both had hard fought wins in the last round, but Tomljanovic’s win over Garbine Muguruza was that bit more impressive and if she can hit those same heights she should win this.
Prediction: Tomljanovic in 3
Angelique Kerber vs Daria Kasatkina
Head-to-head: Kerber 4-4 Kasatkina
If I had to pay to watch any match on the program tomorrow it would be this one. It has the chance of being terrible but has the highest potential ceiling of any match across the draw on Day 6. The series of matches they have played before have had everything, tiebreaks, donuts, massive swings of momentum. Both are good athletes, though Kerber has the edge, Kasatkina has the shot making and imagination. On this occasion I would back the solidity and movement of the German to get the job done. I don’t think that Kasatkina will have the strokes to push Kerber far enough.
Prediction: Kerber in 3
Paula Badosa vs Cori Gauff
Head-to-head: First meeting
These players are tracking each other through the recent years and months, albeit they are six years apart in age. The improvement in Badosa’s game is clear this year and her all-court game is very entertaining to watch. However, if Gauff has a half-decent serving day then she will be the one to beat. Her backhand in the win over Caroline Garcia was a thing of beauty. The accuracy she has on that wing is a savior for her when everything else is going haywire. Gauff is now in the top 20 and I think that she has a real chance of going deep here as long as her serve holds up. I’m banking on it doing so here.
Prediction: Gauff in 3
Anett Kontaveit vs Bianca Andreescu
Head-to-head: Kontaveit 2-0 Andreescu
Andreescu is still unbeaten at Indian Wells and showed some of her excellence in the opening set and a half of her opening match. However, as happens so often, the Canadian found a way to make it complicated for herself. In her condition, with injuries having ravaged her young career, it would be more helpful if she was able to finish some matches more quickly. Here she plays an opponent who is feeling supremely confident having won two recent titles and also Kontaveit has won every completed set in their previous matches. For me, the Estonian is the most likely winner here too with a better hold and break rate in the last year too.
Prediction: Kontaveit in 2
Main Photo from Getty.