BNP Paribas Open, ??? Indian Wells QF Preview
?? (5) Karolina Pliskova vs ?? Naomi Osaka
Karolina Pliskova and Naomi Osaka will open the night session on Wednesday when they go head-to-head at the quarter-final stage of the BNP Paribas Open. This promises to be an exciting encounter between two of the most aggressive, powerful players on tour. Karolina Pliskova will be aiming to reach the semi-final stage in Indian Wells for the third year in a row whilst Osaka will be aiming to reach the final 4 at a premier mandatory level event for the first time.
Karolina Pliskova arrived in Indian Wells on the back of a disappointing Middle Eastern swing, importantly the Czech has been able to gain some much needed momentum at the BNP Paribas Open. Pliskova is into the quarter-final stage in Indian Wells for the third consecutive year thanks to wins over Irina-Camelia Begu, Shuai Zhang and Amanda Anisimova. Clearly it has been a favourable draw for Pliskova and she has not necessarily been playing at her best but has been good enough to work her way into the business end of the tournament.
Naomi Osaka is having one of her most impressive tournaments, reaching the quarter-final stage at a premier mandatory event for the first time. Osaka started the event with a big 6-4 6-4 upset win over 2-time former champion Maria Sharapova. Osaka back-up that win nicely with straight set wins over Agnieszka Radwanska and Sachia Vickery. Osaka confirmed her spot in the quarter-finals with a 6-1 5-7 6-1 win over Maria Sakkari. Osaka has certainly improved her consistency and stability in matches, that has been on show in Indian Wells.
The only previous match between the pair took place at the Rogers Cup last week. Pliskova was ahead 6-2 6-7 1-0 before Osaka retired injured. This is an interesting match-up given the explosive power that both ladies possess, a first strikes tennis battle.