??? BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R2 Preview
?? (3) Petra Kvitova vs. ?? Venus Williams
A blockbuster second round clash from the Californian desert sees the third seeded Petra Kvitova begin her BNP Paribas Open campaign against Venus Williams, a match-up that sees two multiple time Grand Slam champions collide. Kvitova received a bye through the opening round whilst Williams came through a scrappy 3 set match against Andrea Petkovic.
Petra Kvitova is arguably the most consistent player on the WTA tour at the moment, which is a huge improvement for Kvitova who has typically been a very streaky player. Kvitova made a fantastic start to the season by winning the title in Sydney before reaching the final of the Australian Open. More recently Kvitova made to the final in Dubai where she succumbed to Belinda Bencic. Kvitova will be keen to maintain her momentum this week in Indian Wells, albeit at an event she has struggled at in the past.
The pressure is on Venus Williams this week. Williams is defending semi-finalist points from her run to the last 4 in 2018, a big chink of her current ranking points are therefore on the line this week. Williams was unconvincing in her opening round match, she came through a topsy-turvy 3 set match against Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, eventually claiming a 6-4 0-6 6-3 victory despite seemingly struggling with an illness or injury.
Kvitova holds a 4-2 head-to-head record over Williams. However, it was Venus who was triumphant in their most recent match, a memorable 6-3 3-6 7-6 win at the quarter-final stage of the 2017 US Open. Much has changed since their last match, the careers of the pair have generally gone in opposite directions with Venus fading and Kvitova clawing her way to the top, will this match reflect those moves?