Indian Wells R3: (12) Timea Bacsinszky vs Eugenie Bouchard
Timea Bacsinszky and Eugenie Bouchard will go head-to-head for the first time when they collide in a fascinating third round clash at the BNP Paribas Open on Monday. Bouchard and Bacsinszky are both entering their best form of recent months and will both see this match as a great opportunity to progress further in the Californian desert.
After a stunning year in 2015, Timea Bacsinszky really struggled during the Australian summer. Bacsinszky seems to be gradually improving and currently seems to be in the best physical shape she has been in all year. The 12th seed received a bye into the second round at the BNP Paribas Open where she thumped Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2 6-1. It was a fairly complete performance by Bacsinszky in what was probably her best performance of the year thus far. Timea seems to enjoy the conditions in Indian Wells having gone on an impressive run to the quarter-finals at the event last year where she was defeated by Serena Williams.
Eugenie Bouchard has already won 15 main draw matches in 2016, more than any other player on tour (most of Bouchard’s victories did come at International level events, reaching the final in Hobart and more recently in Kuala Lumpur). The Canadian made a shaky start to her BNP Paribas Open campaign, coming from a set down to defeat Risa Ozaki. Bouchard produced a much improved performance in her second round clash, defeating an in form Sloane Stephens 7-5 7-5. It was an impressive win by Bouchard for many reasons, the Canadian was in trouble at stages in each set (saving 5 points in the second set) but her attitude and determination was superb throughout.
It will be interesting to see how this match plays out in the first career meeting between the pair. Past history suggests that Bouchard may struggle in this matchup. The Canadian has struggled against opponents such as Radwanska and Vinci, unable to deal with the variety of these opponents. I think this will be a challenging match-up for Bouchard (especially on a relatively slow surface) if Bacsinszky is able to play at a good level. Bouchard has also played a lot of tennis in the last couple of weeks, Timea should be the fresher of the two heading into this clash which could be an important factor in what should be a lengthy match.