???? BNPPO19, Indian Wells – Final Preview
?? (8) Angelique Kerber vs. ?? (WC) Bianca Andreescu
Angelique Kerber and Bianca Andreescu will both be playing in a premier mandatory level final for the very first time when they meet in Sunday’s final at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Whilst this is an opportunity at a maiden premier mandatory title for both, there is obviously a huge gulf in class between the pair heading into this match. Kerber is a 3-time Grand Slam champion and former world number 1 whilst Andreescu’s greatest triumph came at the WTA 125K level, this is easily the biggest match of Andreescu’s young career.
Angelique Kerber has had a topsy-turvy week in the Californian desert to reach her first BNP Paribas Open final. Kerber certainly hasn’t always been at her best but is peaking at the right time as she looks to claim her first title of the season. Kerber came through a couple of sloppy matches midway through the event against Vikhlyantseva and Sabalenka but has really upped her game in her last few matches in impressive straight set wins over Venus Williams and Belinda Bencic to bring a heap of momentum in Sunday’s final.
Angelique Kerber’s route to the final:
R2: Putintseva 6-0 6-2
R3: (Q) Vikhlyantseva 3-6 6-1 6-3
R4: (9) Sabalenka 6-1 4-6 6-4
QF: V. Williams 7-6 6-3
SF: (23) Bencic 6-4 6-2
Bianca Andreescu continues to defy the odds. Andreescu’s run to the final in Indian Wells is amazing when considering that this is her first time competing in a WTA premier mandatory event. Andreescu has won a whopping 27 matches in 2019, more than any other player on tour. Importantly, Andreescu has beaten several top level players, including wins over Dominika Cibulkova, Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina this week. Andreescu’s semi-final win over Elina Svitolina was particularly impressive given how hard she had to work for that win against a tough opponent.
Bianca Andreescu’s route to the final:
R1: Begu 6-7 6-3 6-3
R2: (32) Cibulkova 6-2 6-2
R3: (Q) Voegele 6-1 6-2
R4: (18) Q. Wang 7-5 6-2
QF: (20) Muguruza 6-0 6-1
SF: (6) Svitolina 6-3 2-6 6-4
This will be the first career meeting between Kerber and Andreescu. It will be interesting to see how the 18-year-old’s game stacks up against the might of Angelique Kerber and also whether the Canadian can handle the occasion in the biggest match of her career.