2019 Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open, Quarterfinal 4: Venus Williams vs Angelique Kerber, Preview and Prediction
The German leads their head to head 5-3, but in front of a vociferous home crowd, the American is certain to put up a strong fight.
Venus may not have been at her best so far, but she has been playing some determined tennis in this tournament. All her matches, barring one, have been close affairs. In her first round match against Andrea Petkovic, she secured the win despite winning six points fewer than her opponent in the match and being bageled in the second set!
She then notched up an impressive win against Petra Kvitova in another close three-set encounter, where she won only four points more than her Czech opponent. She then had her most comfortable victory in the tournament against compatriot Christina McHale. She won in straight sets, securing twenty-two more points in the match than her opponent, but even then she was broken four times.
Venus notched up another straight sets victory in the fourth round against Mona Barthel, but the match was closer than the scoreline suggests. She won just four points more than her opponent and was broken twice.
In the quarter-final, she will face Angelique Kerber, who too has made it this far without being at her very best. After an easy straight sets win in her first match of the tournament against Yulia Putintseva, she had to struggle through her next two rounds.
In the third round, she lost the first set to Natalia Vikhlyantseva, before finding a way to get past her opponent. She was broken four times in that match.
She had to fight tooth and nail in her fourth-round encounter against the ninth seed Aryna Sabalenka. After pocketing the first set in quick time, she lost the second set and edged a tight third set. One of the major contributors to her win against Sabalenka was her second serve win percentage which was at an outstanding 75% compared to her first serve win percentage of 60.
In a match between two former world number ones and holders of multiple Grand Slams, it may all come down to who holds their nerve at the crucial moments.
Prediction: Venus Williams to win in 3 Sets