Join our expert tennis capper for his WTA Indian Wells tournament analysis. Find out who are the main contenders as well as the player to keep an eye on this event.
After Serena Williams' withdrawal, Angelique Kerber already secured her return to the WTA ranking leadership, regardless of her result in this event. Despite Angelique's tremendous success on Hard Court with a terrific 67.17% winning record, the German only won 55.56% of the matches played in Indian Wells throughout her career. Known for her outstanding defense and counter punching skills, the high bouncing conditions on the Californian desert are far from ideal for Kerber's game style. Adding to this, the two-time Grand Slam champion is also looking for her first victory in Indian Wells since 2013 after three consecutive defeats in the opening round.
Due to Kerber's poor results this season an awful record in Indian Wells, it's hard to trust on the German to present her best tennis on this event. Even though Angelique seems to have a very good draw to make it into the final rounds, our suggestion is for you to avoid placing any bet on her outright at +550 at Bet365.
Karolina Pliskova couldn't ask for a better start to 2017 with the Czech holding a phenomenal 15 – 2 record this season. Due to her outstanding campaign this season and after Serena's withdrawal, Pliskova is the main favorite to lift the trophy in Indian Wells with BetVictor offering +400 for the world no.3 to win the title.
Looking now at Karolina's draw on this event, the 2016 BNP Paribas Open semifinalist won't have an easy debut against Monica Puig. The Olympic gold medalist is always a dangerous opponent due to her aggressive baseline game and powerful groundstrokes. However, Pliskova clearly holds the edge over the Puerto-Rican with a 3 – 0 lead on the h2h.
Elina Svitolina and Garbine Muguruza are the main threats on her quarter and Pliskova may face one of these two in the quarterfinals. Even though these two are never easy opponents, Karolina won all the previous five meetings against Svitolina while Muguruza lost five of their previous six encounters. Considering now Pliskova's potential opponents in the semifinals, Dominika Cibulkova is clearly the toughest opponent that the 2016 US Open runner-up can face. Despite Cibulkova's 3 – 1 lead on the h2h, Karolina won their last meeting a few weeks ago in Doha.
Player to Keep an Eye on
Playing in Indian Wells brings great memories to Jelena Jankovic with the former world no.1 holding an astonishing 24 - 13 career record on this event. The game conditions in the Californian desert clearly suit Jankovic's game style with the 2010 champion looking for another successful campaign in Indian Wells. Even though it hasn't been an easy year for Jelena, she can never be underestimated due to her tremendous talent and brilliant record on this tournament.
Jankovic starts her journey in Indian Wells against the American wild card – Irina Falconi. The Serbian is the main favorite to win that match with Pinnacle offering -278 for her victory, which is a good line to take on a parlay. On the other hand, we recommend you to stay away from Jelena's spread since we can't trust on the Serbian to win by a big margin on her debut.
The true value should appear in the following round where Jankovic will face Venus Williams. Jelena was always a tough match-up for the American and due to her history in Indian Wells with a 15-year boycott, it wouldn't be surprising to see Venus not presenting the best attitude on court. Therefore, Jankovic is definitely a player to keep an eye and a valuable play to add to your betting picks in the 2nd round where she should be the underdog against Williams.