WTA Indian Wells, Quarter-Final Previews: Halep v Suarez Navarro, S.Williams v Bacsinszky

I’m still trying to process some of the results from Tuesday… One of Lesia Tsurenko, Jelena Jankovic, Flavia Pennetta and Sabine Lisicki will be in the Indian Wells final on Sunday.  It’s a surprising line-up considering Lisicki and Jankovic have endured miserable starts to the year.  In fact, the four players in the bottom half all failed to win a WTA main draw match down under.  Tsurenko was the only player to actually win a match as she successfully qualified for both Brisbane and Sydney.  Previews of the bottom half quarters coming later today but for now, here’s a couple of speedy previews for today’s WTA matches…

1. Simona Halep v Carla Suarez Navarro (IW, QF)

CSNI am a failure of a tennis fan as I was asleep when Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova took to the court.  It was the one match that I really wanted to see and unfortunately, the schedule has not tended to my needs this week! Halep sealed a straight sets win over Pliskova, 6-4 6-4.  Halep’s quarter-final opponent will be Carla Suarez Navarro.  After going down a break at 3-3 in her fourth round match with Heather Watson, CSN took a MTO for an ankle/foot injury.  She got an immense tape job and looked in big trouble early on as she struggled to run without wincing.  However she seemed to run off the injury and came through in three sets, 7-6(5) 3-6 6-1 to continue her excellent start to the year.  CSN has a 16-6 W-L record in 2015, which has included wins over Petra Kvitova, Ekaterina Makarova, Karolina Pliskova (X2), Camila Giorgi (X2) and Sabine Lisicki.  Halep and Suarez Navarro will reignite a competitive rivalry which is currently tied at 4-4.  The pair played three times in 2013 with Halep winning their two most recent matches. Carla has had a couple of long matches this week although I have learnt this week (from Bacsinszky!) not to completely write off a player who has played a lot of matches.  Still, I think Halep will be too strong for Suarez Navarro…

Prediction: Halep d. Suarez Navarro in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)

2. Serena Williams v Timea Bacsinszky (IW, QF)

SerenaI’m running out of superlatives to describe Timea Bacsinszky.  Wow is all I can conjure up as Bacsinszky won her 15th consecutive match and once again, came from a set down to prevail.  Bacsinszky overcame Elina Svitolina in the fourth round, 4-6 6-1 6-1.  The Swiss player, who is knocking on the door of the world’s top 20, is 10-1 in three set matches for 2015 and has come from a set down to win her last four matches on tour.  Bacsinszky’s reward is a match-up with the world number one, Serena Williams.  She also needed three sets to defeat Sloane Stephens, 6-7(3) 6-2 6-2.  In fact, six of the eight last 16 WTA matches went the distance on Tuesday.  It was a encouraging performance from Stephens, who quickly went up a double break in the first set.  She did well to win the opening set, but Serena still came through playing well below her best.  In their only previous match, Serena won in Rome back in 2010, 7-6(2) 6-1.  Timea’s had an awesome week and I read she has already pulled out of Miami to rest up.  She has absolutely nothing to lose so I hope she has something (i’m not sure how) left in the tank to give Serena a good match.

Prediction: S.Williams d. Bacsinszky in 2 sets

Poll results: 67% of readers correctly predicted that Halep would beat Pliskova, 57% correctly predicted that Bacsinszky would beat Svitolina, 41% correctly predicted that Lisicki would beat Garcia and 41% correctly predicted that Jankovic would beat Bencic.

24 thoughts on “WTA Indian Wells, Quarter-Final Previews: Halep v Suarez Navarro, S.Williams v Bacsinszky

  1. Timi has proved me wrong a few times. Can she prove me wrong one more time to defeat Serena in 3?

    CSN’s ankle has some problem. I am not sure if she is fit to play Halep.

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    • If CSN’s ankle was a bad hurt, it’s a shame. Like Halep her game also is weighted heavily on ability to move… Both seems to be playing well now,.. hoping CSN is getting some magic recovery. Would be a fab match to watch otherwise.
      Timi only lost to MUG and Halep this year.., I am excited over the result of this match more, although I think Serena will continue to better her game. Respect. 🙂

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  2. I vaguely recall saying on here back in September Bacsinszky could do big things in 2015….pat on the back for me! Hard to see her getting too much joy against Serena, but you just never know. I haven’t made a single change to my Racket Rally team since I put it together and while I haven’t checked my scores since then I imagine she’s the only player getting me any points! I’ve been surprised at how Jankovic and Lisicki have both been able to string together good wins this week. Saw nothing to suggest that was coming.

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    • Indian Wells is a good surface for Jankovic and Lisicki, but I had written both off too, I agree!

      Timea and Serena are both on winning streaks (15 and 13). I’d have to bank on Williams though. She wasn’t her best against Sloane but there was nothing to suggest there is an issue that will hamper her going forward, she just seemed to be having an off day where she lost the feel for the ball. She usually follows a showing like that by obliterating her opponent.

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  3. Timi just have the way to disrupt her opponents. She just has that kind of magic to make her opponents play in her war zone. If she can do it with Serena, I really think she is a slam contender in the future.

    JJ was a surprise when she defeated Keys but not so much for Bencic. She was having injury in their first meeting when she lost to Bencic . Bencic will be Woz succesor as the queen of pusher.

    Based on what I see from Tsurenko’s performance in the first set (I watched one set then moved to Stadium one to watch Garcia/Lisicki), I have a feeling she can beat JJ.

    Penetta will be too hot for Lisicki to handle. I think the final is Serena vs Penetta.

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  4. I can’t wait to see the Halep’s match tonight, I am sure it will be the most spectacular match in this tournament. We will finally see some true tennis!
    I like the way Carla is playing, she is clever, strong and she runs a lot too 🙂 But my bet is on Simona, 2 sets. The Pliskova’s match was a good practice on returning strong shots. Lucky Simona, Carla is not having Karo’s power so this time will be easier for her.

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    • Alina, do you imply that those tennis played by Steffi, Martina N, Chrisy, Serena, etc are not true tennis except Simona is playing true tennis? Are you kidding?

      I think CSN has improved her backhand and forehand. She hits as hard as Simona can get from Karo Pliskova but in a different way because she likes to spin the balls. CSN is an underdog prior to this match, You may not get what you want since so many seeded players already get home returns.. I think you should check Simona’s flight schedule if she books her next flight out soon :).

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      • She meant the most spectacular match in this tournament and this year ,clearly .Why are you mentioning Steffi ,Martina ? She ‘ ll win today and has a 50/50 chance against Serena .If SW will play like the match against Niculescu or Stephens , Simona will have a very very good chance . If she passes Serena most probably she’ll win the tournament now with Maria out .

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      • LOL, are Steffi, Martina & Chrissie still playing? Who knew?

        And Serena has dished up some real dross this week. It seems that Simona is one of the few players who is hitting the ball cleanly this week (as she usually does) and who seems to have got the measure of these courts in Indian Wells. Maybe that was what Alina was alluding to.

        If both Carla and Simona play to near their best it will be a visual treat. However, Carla looked a bit shaky yesterday so I have to go for Simona in 2 comfortable sets.

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      • It’s unlikely Serena will play anything but her best against Halep after what happened in Singapore. Simona will get the Serena that is reserved for Masha in their encounters.

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    • Crossing my fingers that Kei’s match end fast… If Carla is fit, it could be a 2+ hr game, and I don’t think I can survive leaving for work at 4pm UST in their 3rd set. … 🙂
      Carla is doing so good this year, in all the tournaments so far and in big games. … very strong, probably fitter of the two especially at 1pm desert sun. Will be quite a match, regardless the results.

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  5. Wouldn’t it be better if we wait and see who gets to the semis, Carla or Simona, before making such assumptions on flight scheduling? They both play high level tennis and we are up for a clashy encounter.
    Let the better one win!

    P.S Patience is a virtue, Sudut 🙂

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  6. Sabine is finally giving her fans something to smile about. Nice few wins give her a bit of confidence before the grass season! Exited. I feel like I cannot cope with Super Timi anymore… When she went a set down yesterday I just thought, surely not! I wouldn’t bet against her grabbing a set of Serena, I really wouldn’t. The girl is magic!

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  7. I have been watching tennis for the past 20 years. I realize that I might not be watching “true tennis” until our Ms Halep playing in this tournament. Sorry for Serena * all women, Fed, Novak, Nadal, Murray, Kei and the rest of the field, you guys are not playing true tennis but Halep is. I am not sure what kind of tennis Muguruza and Sharapova are playing but one is 5-0 against her and another one is 2-0 leading the true tennis.

    Luckily I stick to my belief that true tennis is not good enough to win in 2 sets. The 2-1 score is good enough to put money in my bank. I hope nobody is betting on Halep 2-0 comfortable win because of True Tennis.

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  8. Unless Timea proves all wrong (rather impossible task). As for Serena vs Simona in the SF … Serena is playing unreal tennis and is so waiting to put her hands on that throphy after a waiting of 14 years? With a bleeding heart of a Halep’s fan … I am aware of her chances nevertheless hoping for an entertaining match of both players ( would love to be entertained by Serena with something more than big serve, aces, groundstrokes etc. .. in a word power) and yes true tennis as well, Sudit 🙂

    May true tennis stand a chance to the challenge, agree?

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  9. Serena is a living legend. At 33, those young girls are struggling to beat her.

    Timi did it very well today except her serves denied her in front of a strong power hitter like Serena. Once she improves her serves, I believe she is a slam contender. She really plays her true color today. Her backhand is unbelievable good. I was so thrilled to watch them play in front of me tonight. I had a chance to take a photo with Timi outside the court the other day. Today, I received a private message fro her to thank my support. So happy!

    Simona only can win IW if:

    1. Serena and Sharapova are not feeling well;
    2. Serena and Sharapova are on vacation;
    3. Serena has retired;
    4. Sharapova gets beaten by someone; or
    5. Simona is not playing Muguruza (she already exited this tourney).

    One can win with BEST TENNIS. You should call Serena to confirm if she plays TRUE TENNIS or what kind of tennis. If she doesn’t understand your term. My best advice is to call Rod Lever or Federer to confirm this. Frankly speaking, I don’t understand TRUE TENNIS because I am a business person and a casual club player, and am not a pro.

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    • Sudut, you keep saying how you’re a balanced person, not playing favorites with one player or another, but man, you sure take time and “passion” to write these messages telling everyone how Simona is actually “not that great” cause less than a handful of players have been able to beat her until now. Well, following your logic I’m guessing Sharapova is also a pretty lame player since she’s 2-17 against Serena? Every player out there has weaknesses to specific players, it’s always been like that.

      What the original commenter meant by “true tennis” is about it’s artistic form. A good combo of stamina, timing, great angles, positioning, in other words a beautiful and diverse game to watch, a show. And that has a lot of meaning since these days players spend more time training at the gym than on courts. Tennis has started to lack strategists, on-court thinkers. It looks like everybody is training tall, powerful, big hitting robots. And that’s why some people don’t see it as “true tennis”. But sure, act like you wish and try to belittle Simona.

      There’s not much else to respond to your comments, it’s either a case of being a fan-boy or of “haters gonna hate”. But hey, thanks for finally making me post a comment after just reading and enjoying this really well balanced blog for months!

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    • Sudut,so if Simona is going to defeat Serena tomorrow,are you going to tell us Serena was not feeling well? That’s your logic 🙂

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  10. Good match from Serena. Bacsinszky plays a fairly similar game to Halep, so it will be a great warm up for Simona. Last time Serena and Simona played in the US, Halep got bageled in a little over 15mins.

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