We are getting down to the business end of the tournament in Indian Wells as fourth round matchups commence on Day 7 of the final WTA 1000 event of the year. We’ve got four fascinating matches to take a look at on Tuesday. The action will be headlined by an exciting meeting between a pair of Major champions when Iga Swiatek comes up against Jelena Ostapenko. Who will make their way through to the quarterfinals?
WTA Indian Wells Day 7 Predictions
Victoria Azarenka vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich
H2H: First meeting
Aliaksandra Sasnovich is having her best week on tour in a very long time. Sasnovich started the event with a 6-0 6-4 win against María Camila Osorio Serrano before claiming notable wins over a pair of major champions. The Belarusian snapped Emma Raducanu’s winning streak with a clinical 6-2 6-4 victory before outlasting Simona Halep 7-5 6-4. Next up for Sasnovich is another Major champion. Victoria Azarenka looked to play her way into some form when she defeated Petra Kvitova 7-5 6-4 in the third round, the 32-year-old is a two-time former champion in the Californian desert and looks dangerous heading into this stage of the tournament. It feels like Azarenka has caught Sasnovich at the right time. Sasnovich doesn’t have it in her to maintain a high level against quality opposition for three matches in a row. Azarenka will be too solid here.
Prediction: Azarenka in 2
Elina Svitolina vs Jessica Pegula
Jessica Pegula shocked Elina Svitolina at the Australian Open earlier this year, a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory over the Ukrainian to reach her first major quarterfinal. The quick hard courts in Melbourne proved advantageous for the American, the slow hard courts in Indian Wells will give Svitolina a good shot at revenge. Svitolina squeezed past Sorana Cirstea 4-6 6-4 7-6 in the previous round, a confidence boosting win for the fourth seed in what was arguably the match of the tournament thus far. I think that win will help Svitolina moving forward this tournament, she is battle hardened and really to see off a similar threat in the form of Pegula. Svitolina is extremely difficult to outlast in these conditions–she rarely loses against a fellow counter-puncher so I doubt Pegula can pull this one off.
Prediction: Svitolina in 3
Leylah Fernandez vs Shelby Rogers
H2H: Rogers 1-0
Leylah Fernandez is riding a large wave of momentum. Fresh from a maiden Grand Slam final appearance in New York last month Fernandez has made an impressive start in Indian Wells. The Canadian cruised past Alize Cornet 6-2 6-3 before claiming her fifth top 20 victory of the year when she defeated the ninth seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova from a set and a break down, a 5-7 6-3 6-4 victory. Meanwhile, Shelby Rogers has moved through the draw without dropping a set, making the most of a favourable draw as she defeated Anhelina Kalinina 7-6 6-2, Kristina Kucova 6-2 6-2 and Irina-Camelia Begu 6-0 6-2.
Rogers defeated Fernandez 6-2 7-5 in Lexington last year in their only previous meeting. Expect a very different result on this occasion. Fernandez is very likely to be too solid for the American from the back of the court on the slow hard courts. It will take a clinical performance from Rogers to overpower Fernandez in these conditions, something that seems unlikely even thoguh Rogers has made a strong start to the tournament. Fernandez is on a roll. Expect her run to continue.
Prediction: Fernandez in 2
Iga Swiatek vs Jelena Ostapenko
H2H: Ostapenko 1-0
Iga Swiatek has been in ominous form through her first few matches this week. A first round bye was followed by a 6-1 6-3 win over Petra Martic and a 6-1 6-0 demolition of Veronika Kudermetova. Jelena Ostapenko was similarly devastating in her opening matchup of the tournament, a 6-3 6-0 win over Su-Wei Hsieh after receiving a bye through the first round. The Latvian wasn’t as clinical in a 6-3 2-6 6-3 win over Yulia Putintseva in the third round, but she was very strong in patches against a tricky opponent. Ostapenko beat Swiatek 6-0 6-2 in their only previous meeting, that match took place on grass in Birmingham back in 2019, much has changed since then.
This is a blockbuster matchup between a pair of former Roland Garros champions. Swiatek and Ostapenko both possess a heap of firepower and aggressive styles of play, but they go about their business in very different ways. Swiatek has a heavy game. Ostapenko plays very flat. The slower conditions in Indian Wells suit both players quite well. They have more time to wind up on their powerful groundstrokes. Both players are damaging when they are on, but Swiatek is much more consistent because of the greater margin and variety to her style. Ostapenko is dangerous but too streaky to beat an in-form Swiatek in these conditions.
Prediction: Swiatek in 2
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