Andrea Petkovic (No.79) vs (2) Angelique Kerber (No.2)
Overview: Angelique Kerber will once again return to the World No.1 spot two weeks later after Serena Williams withdrew from the tournament, meaning she would fail to defend her finalist points from last year. This is a great chance for Kerber to gain some points to extend her lead against Serena, having to defend a chunk of points from Wimbledon and the U.S. swing.
However, it doesn’t seem like the German is thinking about it. “I came here to really focus not on becoming No.1 or the ranking,” Kerber said. “I was coming here to win matches. This is what I love and this is what I was practicing for the last weeks. This is more what I’m focusing on.” Kerber admits that her start to 2017 wasn’t the best, but she’ll have to be at her best to beat fellow countrywoman and friend Andrea Petkovic. Petkovic hasn’t been producing the results she wanted to in 2017 so far, posing a 7-6 record. Neither has she done well in Indian Wells, losing in the first round in the previous three years. However, Petkovic has won her last 3 of 4 matches against Kerber, and will definitely be a dangerous opponent for the World No.2.
Head to head: Kerber leads 7-3. However in their previous meeting at Charleston in 2015, Kerber snapped a 3-match losing streak against Petkovic. Kerber leads their rivalry on hard courts, 5-3.
Thoughts: Both Germans are struggling for their form and don’t have great records in the Desert. However, I think Kerber will be too solid and Petkovic will be making too many unforced errors. Kerber should win in straights but I won’t be surprised if Petkovic snags a set away.
Prediction: Kerber to win in two sets