BNP Paribas Open, ??? Indian Wells R2 Preview
?? (9) Petra Kvitova vs. ?? Yulia Putintseva
Petra Kvitova will make her return to the BNP Paribas Open on Friday with a second round clash against Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva. Kvitova enters this year’s first premier mandatory event as the hottest player on tour, Kvitova has won 13 matches in a row, including back-to-back titles in St. Petersburg and Doha. Kvitova will face a tough first assignment against a determined Putintseva, the Kazakh often saves her best tennis for the big stage and is usually more dangerous as an underdog.
Petra Kvitova’s return to form has been the good news story of 2018. Kvitova ignited her season in St. Petersburg where she blasted her way to a 21st career title. Kvitova was even more impressive in Doha where she beat 4 top 10 players on route to winning the title. After a few weeks off, Petra will be keen to improve on her fairly poor history at the BNP Paribas Open. Kvitova’s best result in Indian Wells is reaching the quarter-finals in 2016 and 2013.
Yulia Putintseva has generally made a poor start to the season but will be relieved to have reached the second round stage at the BNP Paribas Open. Putintseva claimed a solid 6-0 2-6 6-2 win over Alison Van Uytvanck in the opening round, a good win considering Van Uytvanck recently won the title in Budapest. Putintseva served well under pressure in the third set and played a disciplined game from the baseline.
This will be the first career meeting between Kvitova and Putintseva, a match-up that will feature a huge contrast in styles. Can Putintseva cause a big upset?