It’s time for the seeds to kick off their campaigns at Indian Wells as round two action will commence on Saturday. Not many matches have caught my eye thus I’ll do brief previews of my favourite two match-ups, Radwanska-Osaka and Ostapenko-Bencic. Also, you can check out my Indian Wells tournament preview here. Read on for the match previews…
1.  Agnieszka Radwanska (No.31) vs Naomi Osaka (No.44)
Radwanska has started the year slowly just like last year and she has compiled a mediocre 7-5 win-loss record this year. In February, she lost to Petra Kvitova in Doha and then to Daria Kasatkina in Dubai. Radwanska’s foot speed has improved after a series of viruses in 2017 but her shots are still lacking power, making her generally vulnerable against big-hitters.
Osaka has had a relatively consistent start this year, reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open and reaching the quarterfinal stage in Dubai. As big-hitters usually do, they have their fare share of off days, but Naomi’s off-days have been not too common this year as her coaching partnership with Sascha Bajin seems to be paying dividends. Osaka recorded a win over five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova in the first round with a 6-4 6-4 scoreline.
Thoughts: Radwanska… Osaka… Radwanska… Osaka… I can’t seem to find a winner! It’s obvious that Osaka will beat Radwanska on her day, but against a defense-based player she can be too impatient at times and result in more unforced errors. The conditions here suit Radwanska, but she’s not in good form and Osaka has already played a match here and will be adapted to the courts more quickly… I’m seriously 50-50 with this one so I’ll have to go with my fave, Aga!
Final Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska d. Naomi Osaka in three sets
2.  Jelena Ostapenko (No.6) vs Belinda Bencic (No.68)
As mentioned in my tournament preview, Ostapenko has been struggling all year and her weaknesses have been extra prominent like her lack of margin and lack of stability on serve. Ostapenko is on a three-match losing streak and her last WTA venture was in Dubai, where she fell apart against Elena Vesnina in two sets.
Bencic has been flying high all year up till the Australian Open. After claiming a huge scalp over Venus Williams at the first Grand Slam of the year, she suffered a loss to Luksika Kumkhum, and fell in the first stage to Veronica Cepede Royg in Acapulco. Bencic wasn’t playing her best yesterday against Babos again, but fought hard and saved a match point to ultimately outlast the Hungarian.
Thoughts: It probably comes as no surprise as I’ve gone for the Ostapenko upset; her form has been absolutely horrendous and her serve has been a big mess. Saving match point to claim an invaluable win against Babos would have helped Bencic regained some confidence and I think she will excel on return to upset the seeded player.i
Final Prediction: Belinda Bencic d. Jelena Ostapenko in two sets
Indian Wells predictions can be found at the top of the page or by clicking the link here! Thank you for reading!