Indian Wells – Thursday

18:00 – Wozniacki v Azarenka

Rankings are 1 and 9. Head to heads are 3-2 to Wozniacki.

They only played one  match in 2010 which went to 3 sets with Wozniacki winning the opening set.

Both players lost the opening set of their 4th round matches but came back strong to get the win. Neither has lost another set in this tournament.

Azarenka has a chance in this one but she will need her serve to be more consistent than normal. Over the last 3 months she has held serve 56% of the time. This week she has improved that to 63% but that may not be enough.

Wozniacki has also improved on her stats for the season this week as far as serve is concerned and has held her serve 83% of the time.

Azarenka has been the better of the 2 players this week on return of serve but has converted just 36% of break point chances to Wozniacki’s 63%.

In 3 of their 5 matches Azarenka has won the opening set so a lay of Wozniacki from the start is a decent plan to start with. Alternatively wait for a better price to back Wozniacki at. If you don’t get the higher price at least you haven’t lost anything.

Wozniacki to go through to the next round.

Update: Azarenka retired after just 3 games. All bets void.

 

 

22:00 – Sharapova v Peng

Rankings are 18 and 36. Head to heads are 1-1. Peng won their last match which was the only one on a hard court. She won in straight sets.

Sharapova has lost just 1 set in this tournament which was a tie break. Peng has been taken to 3 sets in 3 of her 4 matches. In 3 of the 4 matches she won the opening set.

Both players have held serve well in this tournament although Sharapova has had to work hard for some of them. They  held serve 76% and 73%. Sharapova is well ahead in return of serve stats and especially on return of second serve where she has won 73% of points to Peng’s 55%.

Sharapova has earned an average of over 1 break point per game.

This one could be very close and will probably go to 3 sets. Peng has played a lot of tennis so far which could help Sharapova who ought to be a little fresher.

I expect Sharapova to win the match but whilst her percentage of holds is high she has had to fight for them. I expect her to start the slower of the 2 players and so will be laying her from the start. If Peng takes the first set back Sharapova at the start of the second.

Update: Sharapova won 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.

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