Indian Wells R3: (15) Flavia Pennetta vs (21) Sam Stosur
Flavia Pennetta’s title defence continues on Monday when she comes up against Sam Stosur in the third round at the BNP Paribas Open. This is one of the most peculiar head to heads going around, Flavia holds a perfect 5-0 record over Sam. The Aussie will desperate to finally pick up her first career victory over the Italian.
Flavia Pennetta’s stunning run in the Californian desert was one of the fairytale stories of season 2014, the Italian defeating Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska on route to the biggest title of her career. Flavia kick-started her title defence with a comprehensive 6-4 6-2 victory over Madison Brengle.
Pennetta played an extremely clean match. The Italian hit 27 winners and just 17 unforced errors, outclassing Brengle in a comprehensive victory. Pennetta didn't seem nervous despite defending such a high percentage of her points this week, a good sign moving forward.
Sam Stosur overcame a potentially tricky opening round match, defeating Taylor Townsend 6-4 6-2 to set up a third round clash with the defending champion. Stosur has made a very disappointing start to the season, the Aussie is still yet to win consecutive matches in season. Flavia Pennetta is also yet to win consecutive matches this season, making this encounter critical for both ladies.
Flavia Pennetta has a perfect 5-0 head to head record over Stosur. Their last meeting took place at Indian Wells last year, Pennetta prevailing 6-4 3-6 6-1. It is strange that Stosur has never beaten Flavia, on paper this looks like a 50/50 matchup.
The conditions in Indian Wells don’t really suit Sam, whilst Flavia has shown that she is able to adapt better to the conditions. I’m leaning towards Flavia to continue her dominance over Stosur.
Prediction: Flavia Pennetta to defeat Sam Stosur in 3 sets