WTA Indian Wells Quarterfinal Predictions Including Paula Badosa vs Angelique Kerber

Shelby Rogers in action at the WTA Indian Wells Open.

After a thrilling week of tennis so far at the WTA Indian Wells Open, just eight women remain in contention for the title in the ‘tennis paradise’. All will no doubt be desperate to keep their challenge alive, but the competition will be fierce. As ever, we here at LWOT are offering our predictions for all four quarterfinals, but who will prevail?

WTA Indian Wells Quarterfinal Predictions

Anett Kontaveit vs Ons Jabeur

Head-to-head: Jabeur 2-1 Kontaveit

This has the makings of a very entertaining match. Anett Kontaveit comes into it in the form of her life, with the Estonian making a late charge towards the top eight and qualification for the WTA Finals in Guadalajara. Although her third-round exit at the US Open will surely have grated, she bounced back by winning the title in Ostrava and she has looked assured once again so far in Indian Wells, beating Martina Trevisan (via retirement), Bianca Andreescu and Beatriz Haddad Maia, all without losing a set.

Ons Jabeur too has looked sharp. She was given a real test by Anastasija Sevastova in the second round, but edged out the Latvian in three sets and she has backed that up with dominant wins over Danielle Collins and Anna Kalinskaya. She also leads the head-to-head having won their last two matches, including earlier this season in Cincinnati. But that match was very close and in conditions that favoured her. On the slow, gritty courts in Indian Wells, Kontaveit will have that much more time to unleash her powerful groundstrokes. That should make a decisive difference.

Prediction: Kontaveit in 3
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Paula Badosa vs Angelique Kerber

Head-to-head: first meeting

Somewhat surprisingly, this will be the first meeting between Paula Badosa and Angelique Kerber. That is perhaps a reflection of the Spaniard’s remarkable rise this season, which has been built on a semifinal showing in Madrid, a run to the last eight at Roland Garros and to the second week at Wimbledon. That has seen her ranking soar from world #70 to inside the top 30 and she will break new ground again when the rankings are next updated after wins over Dayana Yastremska, CoCo Gauff and Barbora Krejcikova this week.

But this will be a real test of her credentials. Kerber clearly enjoys the conditions in Indian Wells and though the German had to work hard for her opening wins over Katerina Siniakova and Daria Kasatkina, she looked very impressive in dispatching Ajla Tomljanovic for the loss of only five games. It would be a major surprise if things were so straightforward for her up against Badosa, but there are few who counter-punch more effectively than Kerber and, in these conditions, Badosa might just lack the power required to hit through the German.

Prediction: Kerber in 3
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Victoria Azarenka vs Jessica Pegula

Head-to-head: Azarenka 1-1 Pegula

Jessica Pegula’s breakthrough this season started in earnest when she beat Victoria Azarenka in straight sets in the first round at the Australian Open on her way to the quarterfinals. The Belarusian did avenge that defeat with a battling three-set win in the quarterfinals on the grass in Berlin, however, and she comes into this match on the back of three straight-sets wins over Magda Linette (the Pole retired trailing 5-7 0-3), Petra Kvitova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

But Pegula should be feeling confident as well after dominant wins over Sloane Stephens, Jasmine Paolini and Elina Svitolina. Indeed, the Ukrainian, seeded fourth, managed just two games in a 1-6 1-6 loss. Long baseline rallies will likely be the order of the day here, particularly in such slow conditions, and that should favour Pegula. She can still be overpowered by the biggest hitters in the game, but she is becoming increasingly hard to outmanoeuvre for the rest of the field. Expect her to demonstrate why once again.

Prediction: Pegula in 3
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Shelby Rogers vs Jelena Ostapenko

Head-to-head: Ostapenko 2-0 Rogers

Shelby Rogers is hardly a byword for consistency, but when the American is on song, as she has been so far at the WTA Indian Wells Open, she is a very hard player to stop. She opened her campaign with a 7-6 6-2 win over Anhelina Kalinina and has since accounted for Kristina Kucova, Irina-Camelia Begu and US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez. She showed admirable composure in that match, edging out the Canadian in a third-set tiebreak having dropped the first set.

Jelena Ostapenko is cast from a similar mould. The Latvian looks like she has been enjoying the conditions in the Californian desert with wins over Hsieh Su-wei, Jelena Ostapenko and, most impressively of all, Iga Swiatek, dropping just one set in the process. She has also beaten Rogers in both of their previous meetings, although those matches were played on the clay. Still, in slow conditions in a toe-to-toe slugging match, it is hard not to favour Ostapenko.

Prediction: Ostapenko in 3

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