(6) Agnieszka Radwanska (No.6) vs (Q) Peng Shuai (No.49)
Overview: Agnieszka Radwanska wasn’t in her best form against Sara Sorribes Tormo, and recovered from a sloppy start to win the match in straight sets. Radwanska’s start to 2017 is worrying. She has not been playing her best tennis at all this year and her second serves are vulnerable then usual, and aggressive players can easily take charge of them, which we have already seen this year at the Australian Open where she was overpowered by Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
Peng Shuai is having a consistent year so far. The World No.49 has already won 4 matches this week coming out from qualifying to make it to the main draw. The Chinese has had to overcome difficult opponents to reach the third round. She battled past Lesia Tsurenko in three before an impressive 6-4 6-2 win over Ana Konjuh.
Head to head: Radwanska leads the head to head 3-2, but 2-2 on hard courts. Both two wins from Peng were in the US Open (a much faster surface) and Radwanska had beaten Peng before in Indian Wells but that was back in 2008.
Thoughts: I was going to go with Radwanska, but after I saw some highlights of her match against Sorribes Tormo, it’s really tough to not go against her. Her shots were really short, she was not playing aggressive, and her second serves were coming at 63 mph. For a player like Peng, she’ll definitely be able to capitalise on Radwanska’s weakness. I’m actually 50-50 but I think the winner of the first set will go on to win the match. I’ll predict Peng to win but not surprised if Radwanska proceeds to round 4.
Prediction: Peng to beat Radwanska in two sets