I have loads of time this week so I’m going to do some previews on Indian Wells. First up? Karolina Pliskova vs Monica Puig.
(3) Karolina Pliskova (World No.3) vs Monica Puig (World No.43)
Overview: Karolina Pliskova has started the 2017 brilliantly, heading into Indian Wells having only lost two matches, in Dubai to Kristina Mladenovic and in Melbourne to Lucic-Baroni. However, Pliskova has already won two Premier titles this year in Brisbane and Doha. Pliskova is definitely a favourite coming into the tournament to clinch the title.
Monica Puig is also in fine form. She had a nice run in the Middle East, reaching the semifinals and lost in the third round to Angelique Kerber. Puig also made the quarter-finals in Acapulco last week and will definitely be a dangerous opponent for Pliskova. Puig started her week by claiming a booming 6-0 6-2 win over wildcard Danielle Collins.
Head to head: Pliskova is 3-0 over Puig, including a serving demolition over Puig at the Aegon International in 2016, only losing 1 point on her first serve. The other two matches were also decided in straight sets.
Thoughts: Tomorrow’s match should be a tighter affair than heir previous matches, since both players are coming into Indian Wells in good form. Given the fact that Indian Wells’ courts play slow (Puig won Rio last year and the courts were slow too), she stands a chance here but I think the Czech will be dominant on serve and Puig’s backhand will falter at the important points.
Prediction: Pliskova to win in two sets