Plenty of high seeds will start their 2022 WTA BNP Paribas Open campaigns in Indian Wells on Saturday, including Aryna Sabalenka. Dubai champion Jelena Ostapenko takes on Shelby Rogers, who’s famous for her knack for upsets. Who do you think will make the third round?
WTA Indian Wells Day 4 Predictions
Kaja Juvan vs Sara Sorribes Tormo
Head-to-head: First meeting
Sara Sorribes Tormo’s success can be a pretty tough phenomenon to understand, but the Spaniard never goes out without a fight and certainly makes you beat her. Conditions like in Indian Wells should suit her very well, although she’s never made the third round in three previous attempts. Kaja Juvan came through the qualifying draw in a stellar fashion, but a slight edge could be given to Sorribes Tormo here because of her ability to prolong the rallies and lure out errors from the opponents.
Prediction: Sorribes Tormo in 3
Marketa Vondrousova vs Magdalena Frech
Head-to-head: Vondrousova 1-0
Magdalena Frech took advantage of a lucky loser opportunity by taking out Mayar Sherif in the opening round. Her chances to go one round further aren’t looking great though as this seems to be a nightmare matchup for her in these conditions. Marketa Vondrousova enjoys slower hard courts that make her loopy topspin forehand almost as effective as on clay and generally performs very well against players without many weapons.
Prediction: Vondrousova in 2
Jelena Ostapenko vs Shelby Rogers
Head-to-head: Ostapenko 3-0
Shelby Rogers pulled off a stunning comeback win against Nuria Parrizas-Diaz in the opening round (1-5 down in the decider). This tournament allows players to have a day off, though, which should let her rest up. The American has a reputation for being a giant killer and can never be underestimated by a high seed. However, with the form that Jelena Ostapenko showcased in Doha and (especially) Dubai, it’s just impossible not to back her. They played in the quarterfinals here last year with the Latvian prevailing 6-3 in the third.
Prediction: Ostapenko in 3
Aryna Sabalenka vs Jasmine Paolini
Jasmine Paolini won one match at the expense of Aryna Sabalenka in Ilkley five years ago (on grass) and while the trajectories of their careers have been similar in that they’ve been going upwards, the jump that the Belarusian made is pretty much incomparably bigger. Sabalenka has been among the world’s elite for a while now and should have this much entirely on her racket. The biggest challenge could be battling the wind and her own inconsistencies, but even with the double fault issues (which seem to be becoming slightly less frequent), she should be expected to pull through here.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 2
Main Photo from Getty.