Defending champion Paula Badosa is in action on Thursday. The Spaniard has had a quiet year so far but looks determined to defend her title in ‘Tennis Paradise’. Equally determined to stop her are the likes of Maria Sakkari and Simona Halep. All eight of our remaining women have looked fantastic so far in Indian Wells. What that means for tennis fans is a great weekend of must-see tennis. What that means for us is that our WTA Indian Wells quarterfinal predictions become rather tricky. Nevertheless, we shall do our best to decide who’s moving on and who’s going home.
WTA Indian Wells Quarterfinal Predictions
Paula Badosa vs Veronika Kudermetova
Head-to-head: 3 – 0 Kudermetova
The Russian has dominated this matchup in the past which is something of a surprise. In fact, Veronika Kudermetova beat Badosa here in 2019. However, Badosa is a far better player now than she was then. The Spaniard enters this match as the deserving favourite after her dream run to the title here last year. Badosa cracked the top ten in the women’s game last year behind some brilliant tennis. It has taken her a while to get going in 2022, but her level so far here suggests the wait to see her best is over. She is a great mover and very comfortable counterpunching when she needs to. Those traits give her an advantage on the slower courts here and she will like her chances.
However, Kudermetova won’t go away quietly. The Russian feels to have been on the cusp of a big breakthrough for a couple of years now. That break has never materialised, but she has steadily climbed the ranks in the women’s game regardless. She has great power off both wings and a very capable serve. She is occasionally guilty of going for too much and being a bit too one-dimensional. Those traits have cost her in the past and she will need to keep them at bay to have a chance here. The Russian has played great tennis to get here, but Badosa is finding her best tennis at the right time. That doesn’t bode well for the rest of the competition and Kudermetova should be the first to be on the receiving of some great tennis here.
Prediction: Badosa in 2
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Maria Sakkari vs Elena Rybakina
Head-to-head: 1 – 0 Rybakina
If you follow my articles you’ll know I have a soft spot for Maria Sakkari. The Greek is one of the more likeable women in the game and has a tireless work ethic that has seen her improve every single year as a pro. She has come so close to big titles on so many occasions in the last twelve months. In fact, she could easily have been a two-time Grand Slam winner last year. However, the fact remains that she hasn’t yet got that big win. No matter how improved her serve is, no matter how much more confidence and aggression she has brought to her game in recent months, she hasn’t yet got over that line. However, the quality of tennis she plays to get to the latter stages of these tournaments is enough to make me believe she will eventually. To do so here, she must first get past the dangerous Elena Rybakina.
The Kazakh has one of the more lethal serves in the women’s game. She also has immense power off both wings. However, she is not a great mover and doesn’t have much variety. That doesn’t bode well in Indian Wells where the courts are slow. Sakkari is an elite mover and defender and it will take effort to hit through her. Rybakina will have to keep her error count low for extended periods if she wants to win this match. That’s entirely possible, but I’m not convinced she can do it against someone of Sakkari’s ability. I may be guilty of backing Sakkari to a fault, but her tennis until she crumbles is too good to ignore and I believe a tournament will come where she doesn’t crumble and wins big. I could never forgive myself if I didn’t back her and she went on to win so here we go again.
Prediction: Sakkari in 2
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