The Indian Wells Tennis Garden is hosting is back in its March slot for the first time in two years. Day 2 at the WTA BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells will continue the unseeded action but there are still plenty of exciting match-ups. As always, we here at LWOT will preview and predict every match. We look at four in this article, while the others are split between three more articles–featuring Naomi Osaka vs Sloane Stephens, Heather Watson vs Tereza Martincova, and Amanda Anisimova vs Emma Navarro. Who do you think will win?
WTA Indian Wells Day 2 Predictions
Daria Saville vs Zhang Shuai
Head-to-head: Zhang 3-1 Saville
Saville qualified for the main draw after beating Kamilla Rakhimova and Magdalena Frech. After a 2021 season where the Australian only played five matches, Saville dropped outside of the Top 400. The 28-year-old has gone 7-5 on the season so far, reaching a quarterfinal in Guadalajara and qualifying for the main draw in Adelaide and here. Zhang Shuai is coming straight off of a title last week in Lyon. It was Zhang’s third WTA title in her career, first since 2017 and first outside of Guangzhou. The 33-year-old scored some nice wins over Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia before ending Dayana Yastremska’s fairy tale run in the final. Though Saville certainly had some extra days to prepare in the Indian Wells conditions, Zhang’s form right now is undeniable.
Prediction: Zhang in 2
Marta Kostyuk vs Maryna Zanevska
Head-to-head: Zanevska 2-1 Kostyuk
A sort-of-Ukrainian derby here as Zanevska, now Belgian, represented the country until 2016. Kostyuk comes in with slightly better form, qualifying for the main draws in Dubai and Doha while Zanevska lost in the final qualifying round in both. Zanevska won two of their three previous meetings, beating out Kostyuk for a 60k title in Zhuhai and another 60k beginning of the 2019 season. Kostyuk won their most recent in September 2019, though on clay. I see Kostyuk as the slight favorite here as she showed a decent amount of promise in her third-round run at the Australian Open earlier this year.
Prediction: Kostyuk in 2
Ashlyn Krueger vs Yulia Putintseva
Head-to-head: first meeting
17-year-old Ashlyn Krueger is set to make her WTA main draw debut here. The young American received a wild card into qualifying and pulled off upsets over No. 84 Panna Udvardy and former Top 30 player Christina McHale. Her next opponent will be Yulia Putintseva, a very uncomfortable opponent to play, though the 27-year-old does not have many matches under her belt this year, currently 2-3 on the year. Putintseva’s only two matches came in Dubai qualifying and is looking for her first main draw win since Indian Wells 2021 (which took place in October). I sense an upset here and I think Krueger will take this match after a gruelling three-setter.
Prediction: Krueger in 3
Katie Boulter vs Jasmine Paolini
Head-to-head: Boulter 1-0 Paolini
Boulter seems a woman on a mission this year, already 11-4 after successfully qualifying for the main draw in Indian Wells with wins over young talent Wang Xinyu and former No. 5 Sara Errani. Paolini has had a mediocre year but is coming off of a Lyon quarterfinal where the Italian beat Irina Bara and Tamara Korpatsch, the first time she had won back-to-back matches this year. Boulter is the favorite, winning their only previous meeting back in 2014, but also in better form this year.
Prediction: Boulter in 3
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