??? BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R4 Prediction
?? (1) Naomi Osaka vs. ?? (23) Belinda Bencic
A quarter-final spot is up for grabs at the BNP Paribas Open when Naomi Osaka and Belinda Bencic do battle in what promises to be an exciting contest. Osaka is likely to receive her first real test of her title defense in this match, Bencic is in great form having won the title in Dubai last month, Bencic is currently on a 10-match winning streak, can she make it 11 and take down the world number 1?
This is a really tough match to call. In a way, this is a good match-up for both. Bencic loves pace, she absorbs and redirects pace better than most, whilst Osaka is also likely to enjoy the flat, consistent hitting of Bencic. I’m going to side with Osaka. Osaka’s far superior firepower gives her the edge, especially on a slow court at night. Osaka’s superior serve is also a big factor in a match-up that features two intimidating returners of serve. Osaka seems to be playing well this week, she certainly stepped it up against Collins in the previous round and she clearly likes the conditions in Indian Wells having won the title last year.