1. Caroline Garcia v Sabine Lisicki (IW, R4)
It’s good to see Sabine Lisicki winning matches again; she did the Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani double for the second time in under a year. In the second round, Lisicki couldn’t get the job done in straight sets against Vinci, despite serving for the match in the second set, but thankfully sealed the win in three sets. A loss would have been mentally destructive. In the third round, Lisicki earnt her third consecutive victory over Sara Errani with a surprisingly routine straight sets scoreline. Lisicki will play Caroline Garcia in the last 16, who beat Ana Ivanovic for the second time in little over a week. I was surprised at this result and thought Ivanovic might turn the tables after her loss in Monterrey last year. Garcia has had a consistent year up till now and results aganst the best players on tour are slowly starting to come. Lisicki and Garcia have never met before on the WTA tour… i’m intrigued to see what kind of level Sabine is at against another big hitter and whether Caroline can hold her nerve if she gets into a winning position. As a place in the quarter-finals of a Premier Mandatory looms for the winner, this becomes a pretty big match for both players… i’m expecting a few nerves.
Prediction: Garcia d. Lisicki in 2 very tight sets
2. Jelena Jankovic v Belinda Bencic (IW, R4)
Hands up who had Jelena Jankovic and Belinda Bencic reaching the last 16… If your hand is still up, I don’t believe you! Jankovic came from a set down to beat Madison Keys in three sets. I was really surprised by this result, particularly coming after JJ lost the first set. This is the first time in 2015 that Jankovic has strung together back-to-back victories. Bencic scored the biggest win of her career with a 6-4 6-4 victory against Caroline Wozniacki. It was a mature display from Bencic who took advantage of some uncharacteristic errors from Wozniacki and raised her level at the ends of both sets. She served out both in very convincing fashion. For a full recap of the Bencic-Wozniacki match, click HERE. Jankovic and Bencic last met at the US Open where Bencic scored a huge win, b7-6(6) 6-3 to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final. I’d actually give the edge to Bencic again. It will be a similar match-up to the Wozniacki match and I think she can more than hold her own in these types of matches.
Prediction: Bencic d. Jankovic in 3 sets
WTA Indian Wells 4th round predictions
Eugenie Bouchard d. Lesia Tsurenko in 2 sets
Maria Sharapova d. Flavia Pennetta in 3 sets