WTA Indian Wells Day 7 Predictions including Angelique Kerber vs Ajla Tomljanovic

Angelique Kerber in action at the WTA Indian Wells Open.
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All eight fourth round matchups will take place on Tuesday at the WTA Indian Wells Open. It’s could well prove to be the most entertaining stage of the tournament with a bunch of exciting matchups set to take place in the Californian desert, with proven champions and underdogs continuing to defy the odds ready to battle it out for a place in the quarterfinals. But who will reach the last eight?

WTA Indian Wells Day 7 Predictions

Anett Kontaveit vs Beatriz Haddad Maia

Head-to-head: first meeting

Beatriz Haddad Maia is certainly making the most of her second chance in the draw having initially lost 6-4 4-6 0-6 in the final round stage of qualifying to Usue Maitane Arconada. Haddad Maia took Nadia Podoroska’s spot in the draw as a lucky loser, straight into the second round where she cruised past Mayar Sherif 6-3 6-0. The Brazilian then pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament when she defeated the top seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-3 7-5.

Anett Kontaveit is playing some of the best tennis of her career right now. The Estonian has won two titles over the last few months, including the 500-level title in Ostrava last month where she beat Sorana Cirstea, Paula Badosa, Belinda Bencic, Petra Kvitova and Maria Sakkari on route to the title. An impressive run. Kontaveit ended Bianca Andreescu’s unbeaten run in Indian Wells with a 7-6 6-3 triumph over the defending champion, another notable victory for the 25-year-old.

Kontaveit is the obvious pick here, she is undoubtedly a class above Haddad Maia. However, Haddad Maia has nothing to lose and the slower conditions in this match-up could favour her. In short, if Kontaveit maintains a high level then she will come through quite comfortably, but if she is off her game then Haddad Maia is solid enough in these conditions to make this a very competitive match. The former seems more likely given Kontaveit’s recent results.

Prediction: Kontaveit in 2
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Barbora Krejcikova vs Paula Badosa

Head-to-head: Badosa 1-0 Krejcikova

Barbora Krejcikova and Paula Badosa are two of the most improved players on tour in 2021 and both have plenty of momentum heading into this clash. The pair have made similar starts to the event after both received first-round byes. Krejcikova opened her campaign with a 6-4 3-6 6-1 win over Zarina Diyas before beating an errant Amanda Anisimova 6-2 6-3. Badosa, meanwhile, began the tournament with a 6-4 2-6 6-2 win over Dayana Yastremska before beating Cori Gauff, who was not at her best, 6-2 6-2 in under an hour.

It was Badosa who prevailed in the only previous meeting between the pair: a 6-1 7-5 victory on clay in Madrid earlier this year. But Krejcikova surely has a good chance at reversing that result on this occasion, the conditions when they met in Madrid were totally different to those in Indian Wells. Madrid is very quick for a clay court, whereas the courts in Indian Wells are much slower and should give Krejcikova a chance to spin her web. Ultimately, Krejcikova just has a little more in her game, with greater variety and better touch. She also is generally a little more consistent and tougher under pressure. That could be a key in a close matchup.

Prediction: Krejcikova in 3
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Ons Jabeur vs Anna Kalinskaya

Head-to-head: first meeting

It is turning out to be a very important tournament for Ons Jabeur. The Tunisian now sits ninth in the live race to the WTA Finals and is also on the verge of cracking into the top ten in the rankings. Jabeur received a bye through the first round before beating Anastasija Sevastova 6-2 6-7 6-3. The 27-year-old became the first Tunisian to reach the round of 16 in Indian Wells when she smashed an errant Danielle Collins 6-1 6-3.

Anna Kalinskaya has already won 5 matches this tournament having come all the way from qualifying. The world #151 was mostly untroubled in the qualifying draw with straight set wins over Asia Muhammad and Priscilla Hon. The 22-year-old has held firm in three consecutive three set matches to reach the round of 16, a 6-3 2-6 6-1 win over Claire Liu was followed by a 6-3 4-6 6-2 victory against Sara Sorribes Tormo. Kalinskaya overcame a slow start to beat Viktorija Golubic 1-6 6-1 6-3 to reach the round of 16, a significant win given how well Golubic had been playing this week.

There are 137 ranking places between these two, but the first career meeting between the pair might be closer than the rankings suggest. Kalinskaya is having her best tournament in a long time, she enters this clash with nothing to lose and a lot to gain with winning momentum on her side. All the pressure is on Jabeur. Not least because, Jabeur has more riding on this match given the result has significant ramifications for her ranking and chances of reaching the WTA finals. Jabeur is the better player, the rankings don’t lie, but she has also struggled in pressure situations in the past. Still Jabeur should have enough, but it might not be entirely straightforward.

Prediction: Jabeur in 3
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Angelique Kerber vs Ajla Tomljanovic

Head-to-head: Kerber 2-0 Tomljanovic

Ajla Tomljanovic has reached new heights in 2021. The Australian reached her first Major quarterfinal earlier this year at Wimbledon and is now into the round of 16 at Indian Wells for the first time. The positive signs were there for Tomljanovic from the first round when she breezed past Usue Maitane Arconada 6-0 6-2 before upsetting the fifth seeded Garbine Muguruza 6-3 1-6 6-3 in one of the biggest wins of her career. The 28-year-old then secured her spot in the round of 16 with a 6-4 6-3 win against Tamara Zidansek, a solid effort after such an important win in the previous round.

Angelique Kerber has survived a couple of roller-coaster matches after receiving an opening round bye. A 6-1 6-7 7-5 win over Katerina Siniakova was followed by a 6-2 1-6 6-4 triumph over Daria Kasatkina. Kerber was the runner-up in Indian Wells the last time the event took place back in 2019, a couple of battling victories suggest another deep run is a distinct possibility.

The most recent meeting between the pair took place at the US Open last year, with Kerber winning 6-4 6-4. Expect a similar result on this occasion. Kerber is battle-hardened after a pair of lengthy victories, that’s when she is most dangerous. This is one of the worst possible matchups for Tomljanovic, especially on a slow hard court. It’s hard to see a way for Tomljanovic to beat Kerber in this setting, can’t overpower her and won’t outlast her, Kerber is simply too strong.

Prediction: Kerber in 2

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