WTA Indian Wells Quarterfinal Predictions Including Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff

Maria Sakkari in action at the WTA Indian Wells Open.

The 96-woman field at the WTA Indian Wells Open in California has been whittled down to just eight players with four quarterfinal matches will be played across two days. It promises to be a thrilling couple of days in the desert with some of the world’s very best set to take to the courts in ‘tennis paradise’. But who will secure their spot in the semifinals at the second WTA-1000 event of the year.

WTA Indian Wells Quarterfinal Predictions

Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff

Head-to-head: Gauff 3-1 Sabalenka

Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka notched her 15th win of the season, exacting revenge on Barbora Krejcikova who remains the only player to beat her this season. Sabalenka converted three of her 11 break points and snuffed a late break back point on her own serve with an ace before winning 6-3 2-6 6-4 in just over two hours. It is the first time she has progressed to the last eight at Indian Wells. She will next lock horns with Coco Gauff.

The American came through an absolute rollercoaster against the hard-hitting qualifier Rebecca Peterson to also reach her maiden quarterfinal at the desert. The Swede led 4-2 in the decider. But with the crowd crowing raucously in support of their own, Gauff found that extra zip in her ground strokes to stall Peterson’s early momentum in the third set. She reeled off four straight games to escape with the win.

Gauff defeated Sabalenka in their very first meeting on US soil back in 2020 in Lexington as a 16-year-old. She has since enjoyed a meteoric rise. Having just celebrated her 19th birthday this week, the young American will be looking to shelve Sabalenka’s plans of turning the tables in this rivalry. It is imperative to note that Sabalenka has improved markedly in that span and enters this match as a huge favorite. Gauff’s forehand continues to falter in big moments and will need some tweaking to have a shot at Sabalenka here. With the Belarusian now playing a brutally structured game, expect her to sail into the semis.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 2
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Maria Sakkari vs Petra Kvitova

Head-to-head: Sakkari 4-3 Kvitova

Maria Sakkari has played three nailbiters and survived all of them, winning each in three sets. Tuesday’s seesaw match against Karolina Pliskova was a test of nerves, but the Greek rode her luck a few times before coming away with the result and avenging her loss against the Czech in Dubai. She sets up a rematch against Petra Kvitova whom she beat so resoundingly in the third round last year en route to the Indian Wells final.

Kvitova saved four match points to defeat Jessica Pegula for the second time this year and improves to 4-0 against top-5 opposition in 2023. She has previously fallen at the quarterfinal stage twice at Indian Wells, but she looks primed to end that sequence this week. Sakkari has looked jittery for the most part this season with matches she ought to have won against the likes of Martina Trevisan, Zhu Lin, Petra Martic, and Pliskova in Dubai, but came up short.

With that said, the Greek is vulnerable. Her attacking shots have looked below par and her court coverage, though as impressive as ever, has not been winning her as many points as she needs it to. Although Kvitova coughs up a generous amount of double faults, her serve bailed her out of trouble against a fine returner like Pegula. The Czech lefty will have enough artillery to take down the seventh seed in this one.

Prediction: Kvitova in 3

Main photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports