Indian Wells R3: (7) Agnieszka Radwanska vs Heather Watson
After a heartbreaking loss in last years final at the BNP Paribas Open, Aga now has a wonderful chance to reach the fourth round and beyond when she takes on Heather Watson on Sunday, an opponent she has dominated in the past.
Agnieszka Radwanska cruised through to the third round in the Californian desert courtesy of a comprehensive 6-3 6-1 victory over Alison Riske. Aga dictated proceeding from start to finish, a minor lapse in concentration at 5-0 in the opening set the only blemish in an otherwise perfect first up performance for the Pole.
The unique conditions at the BNP Paribas Open seem to really suit Aga’s game. The courts are slow yet the ball flies through the air, a perfect combination for Aga. The Pole has time to construct her points and gets extra pop on her groundstrokes.
Heather Watson has won back to back matches this week for the first time since her title run in Hobart at the star of the year. Watson has had overcome two tough opponents, defeating Julia Goerges 6-4 5-7 6-3 in the opening round before beating Camila Giorgi 7-5 7-5 in the second, arguably her biggest win of the year.
Watson made things extremely tough for herself in the second set, the Brit let a 5-0 lead slip before eventually regrouping, breaking Giorgi to love to close out a hard fought victory. Watson will face her biggest challenge of the year on Monday when she comes up against last years finalist, an opponent who has dominated her in the past.
This matchup presents little threat to Aga, the Pole currently holds a commanding 3-0 head to head record over Heather and is yet to drop a set against the Brit. All three victories have been relatively straightforward, 2 sets victories. Their most recent encounter took place at Indian Wells last year, Aga was mostly untroubled in a 6-4 6-3 victory.
One of Watson’s biggest strengths is her consistency, however in this match-up that doesn’t really help her. Aga does just about everything better than Watson and has much more variety in her game. Watson finds it extremely difficult to hit through the Pole. Aga can dictate play in this match-up and should cruise to yet another straight set victory over Heather.
Prediction: Aga Radwanska to defeat Heather Watson in 2 sets