(7) Agnieszka Radwanska vs Alison Riske
2014 finalist: Agnieszka Radwanska, will begin her quest for an elusive Indian Wells title on Friday when she takes on powerful American, Alison Riske. Aga has regularly reached the later stages at the BNP Paribas Open but has repeatedly stumbled at the final hurdle. The Pole will want to go one step further this year and put a mediocre start to the year well and truly behind her.
A lot was expected of Radwanska in 2015 under the guidance of Martina Navratilova. However the Pole has made one of her worst starts to a season in recent memory. Aga has a 6-6 win/loss record this year (including Fed Cup matches), a horrible start by her lofty standards.
The Pole has always excelled during the Indian Wells, Miami double, reaching the quarter-finals or better on 5 occasions in Indian Wells and claiming the biggest title of her career in Miami in 2012. Aga will hopefully turn her season around over the next couple of weeks.
Alison Riske advanced to the second round in the Californian Desert with a commanding 6-2 6-3 victory over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. The American’s opening round victory on Wednesday was her first victory since Hobart and just fourth of the year.
This is a big year for the American, Alison has struggled ever since her shock third round victory Petra Kvitova at the US Open in in 2013, reaching just three quarter-finals ever since. Riske has an aggressive game that could potentially trouble Radwanska, however her ability to sustain a high level for long enough against a quality opponent is highly doubtful.
This will be the first career between Aga and Alison, it will be interesting to see just how aggressive Alison is and whether her powerful game causes Radwanska significant problems. Radwanska usually steamrolls inconsistent hard hitters and should be able to navigate her way into the third round.
Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska to defeat Alison Riske in 2 sets