BNP Paribas Open, ??? Indian Wells R3 Preview
?? (14) Kristina Mladenovic vs. ?? Qiang Wang
An interesting third round clash from the Californian desert sees the 14th seeded Kristina Mladenovic take on China’s Qiang Wang at the BNP Paribas Open. Wang has proven to be a very troublesome opponent for Mladenovic, Wang thrashed Mladenovic 6-0 6-0 in Tokyo last year in what was probably the low point in Mladenovic’s career. The Frenchwoman has turned her fortunes around of late, the 2017 Indian Wells semi-finalist will head into this match with a point to prove.
Mladenovic’s slump seems to be behind her. Mladenovic has had some good results of late, including a run to the final in St. Petersburg and more recently a quarter-final showing in Acapulco. Mladenovic received bye through the opening round in Indian Wells before confirming her spot in the third round with a 7-5 7-5 win over Sam Stosur. It was a gutsy win for Mladenovic, especially her effort in the second set given she faced break points to go 1-5 down before recovering to close out the match in straight sets.
Qiang Wang booked her place in the third round at the BNP Paribas Open courtesy of a couple of hard-fought 3 set victories. Wang started the week with a topsy-turvy 6-0 4-6 6-2 win over Timea Bacsinszky before coming from a set down to upset the 22nd seeded Elise Mertens 4-6 6-3 6-3. Wang’s win over Mertens was her best win of the season thus far, a confidence boosting win for the 26-year-old.
Wang has won both of the previous matches between the pair, both in straight sets, both on a hard court in 2017. A 6-1 6-4 win in Dubai and a 6-0 6-0 win in Tokyo.