Donna Vekic (No.86) vs (4) Simona Halep (No.4)
Overview: Simona Halep’s start to 2017 has been horrific, much like her start to 2016. She fell in the second round of the Shenzhen Open, lost in the opening round in the Australian Open to Shelby Rogers, and withdrew from St.Petersburg from a knee injury after playing one match. The knee caused her to skip Fed Cup and the Middle East swing, so the Romanian could get a little rusty in her first match in a month. Last year, Indian Wells was a stepping stone for Halep, making the quarterfinals there before going on to win titles in Madrid, Bucharest and Montreal. Will it be a repeat once again?
Donna Vekic is coming into Indian Wells in poor spirits, having fallen in Budapest, St.Petersburg and the Australian Open in the second round, and lost in the first round in Brisbane and Sydney. However, she managed to snag a win here in the desert again Alison Riske 6-3, 7-6(2), and will be coming into the match with some confidence.
Head to head: The two have played once at the 2013 US Open, where Halep demolished Vekic 6-2, 6-1.
Thoughts: The match should be closer given Halep’s rustiness, but the World No.4 loves these Indian Wells courts, having won the title in 2015, and should be able to pull true here against Vekic. The first set could be a little tight, but the match will likely be a breeze in the park for Halep.
Prediction: Halep to beat Vekic in two sets