Predictions and previews for all 8 round of 16 matches at the BNP Paribas Open!
(3) Karolina Pliskova (No.3) vs (17) Timea Bacsinszky (No.17)
Pliskova d. Bacsinszky in three
Both players have navigated through tough matches. Pliskova scraped past Monica Puig in three before a tough two-setter against Irina-Camelia Begu, who should have forced it into the decider. Bacsinszky defeated Monica Niculescu saved five match points against Kiki Bertens in round 3. The Swiss’ variety could trouble Pliskova and the latter hasn’t been at her best in the desert. Bacsinszky also leads their head to head at 2-1. Still, picking Pliskova to slip through in three.
(10) Elina Svitolina (No.10) vs (7) Garbine Muguruza (No.7)
Svitolina d. Muguruza in three
Going with the same prediction as in my pre-tournament preview. Svitolina has been unstoppable but their head to head is tied at two apiece. I don’t think Muguruza will be the one who ends her 15-match winning streak, at most the Spainiard will claim a set.
(5) Dominika Cibulkova (No.5) vs (19) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (No.21)
Cibulkova d. Pavlyuchenkova in three
Pavlyuchenkova has breezed through her two previous matches, and on the contrary Cibulkova has struggled against her last two opponents. However her mental strength showed especially against her match against Kristyna Pliskova, and she should show that against the Russian.
(21) Caroline Garcia (No.25) vs (8) Svetlana Kuznetsova (No.8)
Garcia d. Kuznetsova in three
This was an unexpected matchup for me. Their last match on hard courts went to a third set tiebreak with Kuznetsova eking out a win. The Russian doesn’t have a great record at Indian Wells, and the courts favour Garcia. I’m going with Garcia, but not exactly confident about it.
(9) Madison Keys (No.9) vs (13) Caroline Wozniacki (No.14)
Wozniacki d. Keys in three
All my picks have been decided in three sets, it’s just so difficult to guess! Keys was great in her win against Osaka, but I don’t think a rusty Keys will be able to beat a solid Wozniacki. Sticking with my original prediction.
Lauren Davis (No.38) vs (28) Kristina Mladenovic (No.30)
Mladenovic d. Davis in two
Both of these players have been excellent in 2017, Davis amassing a 15-3 record while Mladenovic is at a solid 14-5. Think Mladenovic will be too solid against Davis, her serve and forehand have been used to good measure this week.
(Q) Peng Shuai (No.49) vs (12) Venus Williams (No.13)
Williams d. Peng in three
50-50 on this one. Venus is on a roll, while Peng has been very consistent this year. Peng had also won their previous match in Beijing last year. This is definitely one match you would not want to miss.
(14) Elena Vesnina (No.15) vs (2) Angelique Kerber (No.2)
Kerber d. Vesnina in two
Not sure about myself picking Kerber to win in two, but maybe three. Vesnina has been good this week, but the German should be solid in this encounter. Kerber is starting to find some confidence here in the desert, rallying back from 4-1 in the last set against Pauline Parmentier in her last match to come back and win that set 7-5.