BNP Paribas Open, ??? Indian Wells R2 Preview
?? (24) Elena Vesnina vs ?? Catherine Bellis
Elena Vesnina will begin her title defense at the BNP Paribas Open with a very tricky second round clash against America’s Catherine Bellis. Vesnina’s triumph in the Californian dessert was by far the biggest title of her singles career, a victory that no one expected. The pressure is now on Vesnina to defend those points, an early exit will see her drop to around 50 in the world rankings.
Elena Vesnina has been able to gain some much needed positive form in the lead up to her title defense at the BNP Paribas Open. Vesnina won a couple of matches in Dubai, beating Shuai Peng and a notable win over Jelena Ostapenko before succumbing to Daria Kasatkina at the quarter-final stage. Vesnina’s form has generally been unspectacular since her shock win 12 months ago at the BNP Paribas Open.
Bellis strolled into the second round at BNP Paribas Open for the first time, thrashing Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-0 6-3 in what was a near flawless performance. Bellis has been building some good momentum of late. The American ignited her season with an impressive run through the qualifying draw to the quarter-final stage in Doha. Bellis claimed notable wins over Daria Kasatkina, Madison Keys and Karolina Pliskova on route to the final 8 in Doha. Bellis then went on to play in Dubai where she had another good win, beating Mertens in straight sets before succumbing to Garbine Muguruza.
This will be the first career meeting between Vesnina and Bellis, Vesnina has almost a decade more of experience but Bellis is the form player heading into this match and will fancy her chances against the defending champion.