BNP Paribas Open, ??? Indian Wells R2 Preview
?? (6) Jelena Ostapenko vs. ?? Belinda Bencic
A blockbuster second round match-up at the second round stage of the BNP Paribas Open sees the 6th seeded Jelena Ostapenko come up against Belinda Bencic. This will be the first career meeting between Ostapenko and Bencic, a battle between two of the tours most talented youngsters. This is likely to be a match-up we will see a lot of in the years to come, it will be interesting to see who draws the first blood.
Jelena Ostapenko is really yet to get going in season 2018. The Latvian has a very modest 3-6 win/loss record in 2018, she has not been able to find her range from the baseline and her second serve has been a real issue of late. Ostapenko has only competed in Indian Wells on 1 previous occasions, a second round exit at last year’s event. The slow, gritty hard courts are not the type of courts that would be considered favourable for Ostapenko. The Latvian progressed to the second round courtesy of an opening round bye.
Belinda Bencic claimed a critical victory to advance to the second round. Bencic saved match point on route to a hard-fought 1-6 6-1 7-6 victory over Timea Babos. The opening two sets were very one-sided as the score line suggests but the third set was very close and very tense. Bencic squandered several chances midway through the set and saved match point at 4-5 which she saved in a lucky rally. Bencic was clearly the better player in the decisive tiebreak, her precision groundstrokes were the difference in the end.
It will be interesting to see how this match unfolds in what will be the first meeting between the pair. These are two of the hungriest and most talented young players on tour, expect a fiery clash.