Indian Wells QF #2: (3) Agnieszka Radwanska vs (8) Petra Kvitova
Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova will go head-to-head for the first time since last year’s Singapore final when they meet at the quarter-final stage of the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday. This is always a fascinating match-up because of the extreme contrast in styles between two of the greatest competitors on the WTA tour. Radwanska’s form is undoubtedly better heading into this match, however a rejuvenated Petra Kvitova will be a very dangerous opponent for Aga.
Aga Radwanska survived an opening round scare this week in Indian wells, coming from 2-5 down in a deciding set against Dominika Cibulkova and saving a match point in the process to claim a memorable 6-3 4-6 7-5 victory. The Pole has been relatively untroubled since that scare, recording straight set victories over Monica Niculescu and Jelena Jankovic. Aga displayed a good level in each of her straight set victories, playing with exceptional variety and tactical prowess in both matches. It will be a very different match-up for Aga in the quarter-finals against Kvitova, an opponent that can blast Aga off the court.
Petra Kvitova arrived in Indian Wells with just 2 victories to her name in 2016. The Czech is showing real signs of turning her form around by coming through some tight matches to reach the quarter-final stage at the BNP Paribas Open. Kvitova has come through 3 marathon matches, defeating Danka Kovinic, Johanna Larsson and Nicole Gibbs in a tight third set. Kvitova still hasn’t been playing at her best but importantly she has been showing a great level of determination and fighting spirit which has been enough to carry her through to her first quarter-final of the year. It will be interesting to see if Petra can now play with a bit more freedom.
Petra Kvitova holds a 6-3 head-to-head record over Radwanska. Kvitova dominated Radwanska in their early meetings, winning 5 of the first 6 encounters between the pair, however Radwanska has won 2 of their last 3 matches. Radwanska claimed the biggest title of her at the WTA Finals in Singapore last year when she defeated Petra Kvitova 6-2 4-6 6-3 in the final of the event.
This is a tough match to call, obviously Radwanska’s form is better heading into this match having reached at least the semi-final stage in her last 7 events whilst Kvitova has generally struggled lately. However, Kvitova will be feeling much better about her game having reached the quarter-finals this week and will feel like she has nothing to lose from this position. Kvitova generally matches up well against Radwanska and I believe the conditions in Indian Wells favour the Czech in this matchup. The courts are slow and bouncy which means it will be tough for Radwanska to keep the ball out of Kvitova’s strike zone, I think Kvitova can cause an upset here.