WTA Indian Wells Semifinal Prediction: Ons Jabeur vs Paula Badosa

Ons Jabeur in action prior to the WTA Chicago Classic.

Friday’s second WTA semifinal in Indian Wells promises to be an exciting contest as Ons Jabeur comes up against Paula Badosa. A spot in the biggest final of each player’s respective careers will be up for grabs. Who will make the most of this opportunity and reach Sunday’s final?

WTA Indian Wells Semifinal Prediction

Ons Jabeur vs Paula Badosa

H2H: 1-1

Ons Jabeur’s 7-5 6-3 quarterfinal victory over Anett Kontaveit confirmed that the Tunisian will enter the Top 10 in the rankings for the first time in her career. Furthermore, Jabeur is now in a prime position to reach the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, currently sitting at #8 in the live standings. It has been smooth sailing for the 27-year-old ever since she needed three sets to get the better of Anastasija Sevastova in her opening match of the tournament. A 6-2 6-7 6-3 win over the Latvian was followed by commanding straight sets wins over Danielle Collins and Anna Kalinskaya. Jabeur has won more matches than anyone on the WTA tour in 2021, 48 victories. An astonishing season, one which could look much better in a few days’ time.

Paula Badosa has followed a similar pathway into the semifinals. The Spaniard dropped her only set of the tournament in her opening round match, a 6-4 2-6 6-2 victory over Dayana Yastremska. Badosa has beaten three quality opponents in a row, all in straight sets. A 6-2 6-2 win against Cori Gauff, 6-1 7-5 over the third seeded Barbora Krejcikova, and finally a 6-4 7-5 triumph over Angelique Kerber. Badosa’s solid game is working nicely on these slow courts, it’s tough for her opponents to find a way through. Can Jabeur find a way through?

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Jabeur emerged victorious in the most recent meeting between the pair, a 7-6 5-7 7-5 win in Miami earlier this year. Another close match could be on the cards between a pair of 2021’s most improved players.

I expect Jabeur to have the edge in this contest. Jabeur has the perfect mix of variety and power to get the better of the Spaniard on this surface. Badosa has had great success this tournament when she sits back behind the baseline, as her consistency was too much for her opponents. A similar strategy wont work here. Jabeur’s ability to bring Badosa to the net with her drop shots will be key. Jabeur’s slice, variation of shots and power from the back of the court will keep Badosa remains uncomfortable. Overall, Jabeur is the better player. There’s more to her game and she is full of confidence at the moment. Jabeur should be too classy.
Prediction: Jabeur in 2

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