BNP Paribas Open, ??? Indian Wells QF Preview
?? (1) Simona Halep vs ?? Petra Martic
An interesting quarter-final clash in the Californian desert sees Simona Halep come up against Petra Martic. Halep and Martic have been two of the most consistent players in 2018. Halep has a 17/1 win/loss record in 2018 whilst Martic has amassed an 11/3 win/loss record thus far in 2018. Martic has already taken down some big names in Indian Wells but will need to raise her level even further if she is to upset the world number 1.
Simona Halep is one of just two former champions left in the draw at the BNP Paribas Open. The Romanian has not been at her best throughout the opening week of the tournament but has displayed her new mental strength in order to progress to the quarter-finals despite not playing great tennis. Halep started the event with an opening round bye before beating Kristyna Pliskova 6-4 6-4. The 2015 champion survived a huge scare in the third round where she overcame a slow start to beat Caroline Dolehide 1-6 7-6 6-2. Halep secured her spot in the quarter-finals with a 7-5 6-1 win over Qiang Wang in what was a scrappy match. Halep will hope to pick up her level as she moves into the business end of the tournament.
Petra Martic has become a big tournament specialist. Martic has reached the round 16 at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the Australian Open in the last 12 months. Martic is now into the quarter-finals at a premier mandatory event for the first time. Martic has impressively moved into the final 8 at the BNP Paribas Open without a dropping a set. The 27-year-old started the week with a comfortable win over Tatjana Maria before eliminating the 25th seeded Barbora Strycova with a 7-5 6-4 win. Martic then claimed a big upset as she beat the 6th seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-3 before securing her spot in the quarter-finals with a 6-3 7-6 win over Marketa Vondrousova. Martic did well to close out her fourth round in straight sets after she failed to serve out the match late in the second set.
The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Their most recent match took place in Guangzhou in 2015, Halep won that match 6-4 6-2. Martic’s victory over the Romanian came way back in 2011 in Copenhagen where the Croatian won 6-3 5-7 7-5. Clearly Halep is the more accomplished player but Martic has proven to be a dangerous opponent for many top players this year, can the Croatian cause a big upset?