BNP Paribas Open, ???Indian Wells, R2 Match Preview
(3) ?? Karolina Pliskova vs ?? Monica Puig
A blockbuster second round match-up at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden sees the second seeded Karolina Pliskova open her 2017 BNP Paribas open campaign against the always-dangerous Monica Puig. Karolina Pliskova was moved to the top of the draw courtesy of the withdrawal of Serena Williams. However, Pliskova’s move to the top of the draw doesn’t seem to be advantageous as she has arguably drawn the most dangerous unseeded player in the draw in her opening match of the tournament.
Karolina Pliskova has made an outstanding start to the season, heading into the BNP Paribas Open the Czech world number 3 has still only lost two singles matches. One of those losses came a few weeks ago, in the first round in Dubai, a disappointing straight set loss to Kristina Mladenovic. However, Pliskova has already won two titles this year, both at the premier level, in Brisbane and Doha, as well as reaching the quarter-final stage at the Australian Open. There is no doubt that Pliskova is one of the form players on the tour at the moment, certainly one of the most confident.
.@MonicaAce93 cruises past Collins 6-0, 6-2!
— WTA (@WTA) March 9, 2017
Monica Puig brings good form to the Californian desert. Puig had a good run in the Middle East, reaching the semi-finals in Doha before winning a couple of matches in Dubai before losing to the top seeded Angelique Kerber. Puig made the quarter-finals in Acapulco last week and will be looking to cause some damage at the first premier mandatory level event of the season. Puig started her Indian Wells campaign off on a high by claiming a thumping 6-0 6-2 win over American wild-card Danielle Collins.
Karolina Pliskova has a dominant record over Monica Puig. Pliskova has won all three of their previous matches, all in straight sets. The most recent match between the pair saw Pliskova claim a 6-2 6-2 win on the grass of Nottingham last year. I suspect Friday’s match will be much closer given Puig’s good recent form and taking note that the Indian Wells surface plays slower than a typical hard court. Nevertheless, Pliskova clearly enjoys this match-up and is a lot more consistent throughout matches and will therefore probably come through this match as the winner.