BNP Paribas Open, ??? Indian Wells SF Prediction
?? (1) Simona Halep vs. ?? Naomi Osaka
I’m going to give the edge to Simona Halep here. The Romanian is going to be extremely tough to defeat on this surface, Halep is a former champion in Indian Wells, the slow, high bouncing hard courts are the perfect surface for Halep. Also in Simona’s favour is her perfect 3-0 H2H record over Osaka, including a fairly comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory earlier this year at the Australian Open.
Halep has commented on many occasions that she enjoys playing against big-hitters, Halep’s ability to absorb and redirect pace makes her a really tough opponent for players like Osaka because the best shots of Osaka will come back with interest against the world number 1. Halep is also far more experienced than Osaka at this stage of big events, Osaka will be competing in just her second career semi-final and the biggest match of her career, whilst this is the 11th semi-final Halep has reached in the last year and a bit.
Ultimately I suspect Halep will be too consistent for Osaka, this is especially true given the Romanian will be able to get into extended rallies quite often of this slow surface.