There is a slew of entertaining matches on Day 3 of the WTA BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Former world No. 1 Simona Halep is among those leading the line on a jam-packed Friday. As always, we here at LWOT will cover every single match on the slate, with four of those matches in this article.
WTA Indian Wells Day 3 Predictions
Petra Martic vs Tamara Zidansek
Head-to-head: Martic 2-0 Zidansek
After a tepid start to the season, Petra Martic has managed to get her season back on the mend. Victory over Madison Keys in Monterrey could be the turning point in Martic’s fortunes. In contrast, Zidansek played decently in January Down Under. She reached the semifinals of Adelaide but was forced to pull out due to an abdominal injury. That didn’t deter her chances of making an imprint at the Australian Open, where she made the third round for the first time. However, I worry about the Slovenian heading into Friday’s match. She hasn’t struck a ball since Melbourne and starting a tournament from the second round isn’t always an advantage since the opponent has acclimatized with court conditions.
Prediction: Martic in 3
Madison Keys vs Misaki Doi
Head-to-head: Keys 4-1 Doi
Madison Keys has tallied 11 wins this season in just under three months. In contrast, it took her an entire year in 2021 to scoop 11 wins. There is a clear vision in Keys’ game under the tutelage of Georgi Rumenov. The message from the new coach towards Keys is to focus on the shot at hand. And the American is crashing every ball in sight. Keys is winless in three matches, but this should be a relatively routine win in the books.
Prediction: Keys in 2
Elina Svitolina vs Harriet Dart
Head-to-head: first meeting
These are unprecedented times for Elina Svitolina given what is happening back in her homeland. The 27-year-old has now channeled the emotional trauma into added motivation for as long as she is playing on the court. That could be bad news for the British qualifier Harriet Dart who appears to be enjoying a decent run at the Indian Wells tennis garden. Svitolina is hardly a big hitter, but expect her to unleash the full thunder in her serve and ground strokes on Friday.
Prediction: Svitolina in 2
Simona Halep vs Ekaterina Alexandrova
Head-to-head: Halep 2-2 Alexandrova
When the draw came out, this was the kind of matchup Simona Halep was keen to avoid. That is not to say Halep is intimated by power hitters, considering her most recent defeats have come against very powerfully equipped players. Ekaterina Alexandrova is one of very few players who is capable of breaching Halep’s near-impregnable defenses. But the Russian looks a shadow of the player that graced the world’s Top 30 a couple of years ago. In addition, Alexandrova nearly made a melee of her opening match at Indian Wells, which required a third-set tiebreak to defeat little-known Elvina Kalieva. Halep looks poised to advance.
Prediction: Halep in 2
Main Photo from Getty.