Angelique Kerber vs. Bianca Andreescu, Indian Wells Final Preview

🇺🇸🌵🏆 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – Final Preview
🇩🇪 (8) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇨🇦 (WC) Bianca Andreescu

Angelique Kerber and Bianca Andreescu will both be playing in a premier mandatory level final for the very first time when they meet in Sunday’s final at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Whilst this is an opportunity at a maiden premier mandatory title for both, there is obviously a huge gulf in class between the pair heading into this match. Kerber is a 3-time Grand Slam champion and former world number 1 whilst Andreescu’s greatest triumph came at the WTA 125K level, this is easily the biggest match of Andreescu’s young career.

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during her semi-final at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Angelique Kerber has had a topsy-turvy week in the Californian desert to reach her first BNP Paribas Open final. Kerber certainly hasn’t always been at her best but is peaking at the right time as she looks to claim her first title of the season. Kerber came through a couple of sloppy matches midway through the event against Vikhlyantseva and Sabalenka but has really upped her game in her last few matches in impressive straight set wins over Venus Williams and Belinda Bencic to bring a heap of momentum in Sunday’s final.

Angelique Kerber’s route to the final:

R1: (BYE)
R2: Putintseva 6-0 6-2
R3: (Q) Vikhlyantseva 3-6 6-1 6-3
R4: (9) Sabalenka 6-1 4-6 6-4
QF: V. Williams 7-6 6-3
SF: (23) Bencic 6-4 6-2

Bianca Andreescu continues to defy the odds. Andreescu’s run to the final in Indian Wells is amazing when considering that this is her first time competing in a WTA premier mandatory event. Andreescu has won a whopping 27 matches in 2019, more than any other player on tour. Importantly, Andreescu has beaten several top level players, including wins over Dominika Cibulkova, Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina this week. Andreescu’s semi-final win over Elina Svitolina was particularly impressive given how hard she had to work for that win against a tough opponent.

Bianca Andreescu of Canada in action during her semi-final at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Bianca Andreescu’s route to the final:

R1: Begu 6-7 6-3 6-3
R2: (32) Cibulkova 6-2 6-2
R3: (Q) Voegele 6-1 6-2
R4: (18) Q. Wang 7-5 6-2
QF: (20) Muguruza 6-0 6-1
SF: (6) Svitolina 6-3 2-6 6-4

This will be the first career meeting between Kerber and Andreescu. It will be interesting to see how the 18-year-old’s game stacks up against the might of Angelique Kerber and also whether the Canadian can handle the occasion in the biggest match of her career.

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Elina Svitolina vs. Bianca Andreescu, Indian Wells SF Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – SF Preview
🇺🇦 (6) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇨🇦 (wc) Bianca Andreescu

A pair of first-time BNP Paribas Open semi-finalists will go head-to-head on Friday when the 6th seeded Elina Svitolina takes on Canadian wild card Bianca Andreescu. This will be the first career meeting between Svitolina and Andreescu, it will be interesting to see how the Andreescu game stacks up against Svitolina. Andreescu has been the fairy tale story of the tournament thus far but this is arguably her greatest test yet, can the 18 year-old keep her magical run going or will Svitolina be too strong?

Bianca Andreescu of Canada in action during her quarter-final match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina has done things the hard way on route to her first semi-final appearance at the BNP Paribas Open. Svitolina received a bye through the first round before coming very close to elimination in her opening match where she fought past Sofia Kenin 3-6 7-6 6-4. Svitolina’s only straight set win this tournament came at the third round stage where she defeated Daria Gavrilova 7-5 6-4. Svitolina then outlasted Barty in a 3-hour epic, the longest match of the season thus far, a 7-6 5-7 6-4 win for the Ukrainian. Svitolina confirmed her spot in the semi-finals with another tough win, a gutsy 4-6 6-4 6-4 win over Marketa Vondrousova. Luckily for Svitolina she got a day off before her semi-final match.

Winning has become a habit for Bianca Andreescu in 2019. Andreescu has won more matches than anyone else on tour in 2019 having already won a whopping 26 matches across all competitions. Andreescu’s level has improved throughout the tournament in Indian Wells. Andreescu started the week with a 3 set win over Irina-Camelia Begu, her only dropped set of the tournament thus far. Andreescu went on to comfortably defeat Dominika Cibulkova, Stefanie Voegele and Qiang Wang in straight sets. Andreescu’s most impressive performance came at the quarter-final stage where she thrashed Garbine Muguruza 6-0 6-1.

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Qiang Wang vs. Bianca Andreescu, Indian Wells R4 Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R4 Preview
🇨🇳 (18) Qiang Wang vs. 🇨🇦 (wc) Bianca Andreescu

Qiang Wang and Bianca Andreescu will go head-to-head for the first time with a spot in the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals up for grabs. This is a huge opportunity for both players to reach the final 8 of premier mandatory event, who will step up and make the most of this opportunity?

Bianca Andreescu of Canada in action during her third-round match at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Qiang Wang has made a mediocre start to the season given her outstanding form towards the end of 2018. However, the recent signs have been better for Wang, perhaps she is rediscovering her late 2018 season form. Wang has had a good couple of weeks in Indian Wells, it all started a few weeks ago at the Indian Wells 125K event where she reached the semi-finals. Wang has claimed a few solid victories on route to the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open, a 7-6 6-2 win over Bernarda Pera followed by a gutsy 7-6 6-7 6-3 win against Elise Mertens.

Bianca Andreescu is in the best form of her career. The 18-year-old is quickly rising up the WTA rankings, she arrived in Indian Wells on the back of a semi-final showing in Acapulco which saw her rise to a career high ranking of 60, one more win for Andreescu this week and she will almost certainly break into the top 50. Andreescu started her BNP Paribas Open campaign with a surprisingly tough 6-7 6-3 6-3 win over Irina-Camelia Begu before cruising past Dominika Cibulkova and Stefanie Voegele in straight sets.

It will be interesting to see how Wang matches up against young Canadian in their first career meeting, especially with so much on the line, will youth or experience prevail?

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