Round of 16 action will take place at the BNP Paribas Open tomorrow as all eight fourth round matches will kick off tomorrow. As expected, there are many many exciting clashes to look forward to but I’ll preview two of my favourite ones for tomorrow, Venus Williams vs Sevastova and Anisimova vs Ka.Pliskova. Continue reading for the previews…
Indian Wells Round of 16
1.  Venus Williams (No.8) vs  Anastasija Sevastova (No.21)
Venus produced a masterclass of serving and consistent, yet aggressive tennis to outlast sister Serena in the third round, 6-3 6-4. Venus was generally in complete control throughout the match, winning 76% of first serve points and 65% of second serve points, whilst having a positive winner-unforced error ratio in the first set. Serena was misfiring on her forehand more often than not; in fact around two-thirds’ of her unforced errors were coming off from the forehand wing. Up 6-3 5-2, nerves struck into Venus’ game, throwing in a couple of double faults and strange misses, but she managed to get just enough first serves in the final game to withstand the comeback from Serena. Though there’s still rust in Serena’s game, it was definitely a positive week for her and she’ll definitely be improving even further as her comeback continues. Meanwhile, after a tough start to the year, Venus has been playing very well in Indian Wells and will look to continue her campaign against Anastasija Sevastova…
Sevastova has had a decent year so far, beating the players she is expected to beat (and losing to players she is expected to lose to!) Her best tournament of the year was in Brisbane, reaching the semifinals, and has since then only won five more matches. Two of those matches have come here, where she beat hard-hitters Monica Puig and Julia Goerges back-to-back. Both players were unstuck in Sevastova’s web of trickery, most notably the slice backhand, and on these slow courts Sevastova’s gamestyle really suits these conditions.
Thoughts: Venus actually won their only encounter two years ago, but we all know winning on back-to-back days for her is a little tough. Especially with the variation of shots Sevastova can play to easily unsettle hard-hitters, and on these slow courts too, I believe the Latvian will come away as the winner in three sets.
Final Prediction: Anastasija Sevastova d. Venus Williams in three sets
2. [WC] Amanda Anisimova (No.149) vs  Karolina Pliskova (No.5)
It’s tough to believe Amanda Anisimova is only 16-years-old when you look at her game. She possesses so many weapons – good serve, great groundstrokes, nice touch, and great speed around the court. This all-court game has brought her to three wins in the California desert this week, against Pauline Parmentier, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and her biggest win against Petra Kvitova. I remember watching her against Pavs – she was able to handle her power so well, and even came up with some brilliant forehand and backhand angles of her own. She was even willing to come forward in some moments – a great sign of a up-and-coming player! I wasn’t able to watch her match against Kvitova but from the stats it seemed like she played well in the important moments.
Pliskova has been tough as nuts this week. While she hasn’t been able to produce her best tennis so far, she has been winning all the important points as she edged past Irina-Camelia Begu in two tight sets, and Zhang Shuai in two and a half hours. A fun stat to prove what I said above – Pliskova saved 14/18 break points against Zhang in their three-setter.
Thoughts: Both players have a similar game but Pliskova is the more experienced player. Though Anisimova is in great form, I expect Pliskova to win the important points, especially on her serve. I’ll give Anisimova a set, but the Czech should be able to battle through this one with her fighting spirit once again.
Final Prediction: Karolina Pliskova d. Amanda Anisimova in three sets
Indian Wells predictions can be found at the top of the page or by clicking the link here! Thank you for reading!