Indian Wells 2021: Angelique Kerber vs Ajla Tomljanovic preview, head-to-head & prediction | BNP Paribas Open

Angelique Kerber at the 2021 Ostrava Open.
Angelique Kerber at the 2021 Ostrava Open.
Rohit R

Match details

Fixture: (10) Angelique Kerber vs Ajla Tomljanovic

Date: 12 October 2021

Tournament: BNP Paribas Open

Round: Fourth round (Round of 16)

Venue: Indian Wells, USA

Category: WTA 1000

Surface: Hardcourt

Prize money: $8,761,725

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video

Angelique Kerber vs Ajla Tomljanovic preview

10th seed Angelique Kerber will square off against Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic on Tuesday for a spot in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

Kerber had to battle hard to overcome Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in their third-round encounter on Monday. After a brilliant first set, the second set was disastrous for the German as she didn't win any of her own service games.

The final set started out in similar fashion, but Kerber eventually managed to steady herself. The 33-year-old won four of the last five games to win the set and with it the match too.

After a poor first half of the season, Kerber turned things around by winning her first title in three years at the Bad Homburg Open. She has consistently made deep runs since then, with her opening-round loss at the Ostrava Open being the only exception.

Kerber still has a shot at qualifying for the WTA Finals, but winning Indian Wells is essential for her to make it there. We can expect the German to do everything in her power to keep her hopes alive.

Ajla Tomljanovic at the 2021 US Open.
Ajla Tomljanovic at the 2021 US Open.

Ajla Tomljanovic, meanwhile, defeated 2021 Roland Garros semifinalist Tamara Zidansek 6-4, 6-3 in her third-round match. The Australian lost the first four games to go down 0-4, but then won nine games in a row to lead 6-4 3-0.

Zidansek managed to level things at 3-all, before Tomljanovic again went on a hot run to clinch the next three games.

Tomljanovic has had some decent results this year, with the highlight being her maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance at Wimbledon. That is also the only time she has reached the last eight of a tournament in 2021.

Having bagged her maiden fourth-round appearance in Indian Wells, the Australian would be keen to go a step further and reach her second quarterfinal of the season.

Angelique Kerber vs Ajla Tomljanovic head-to-head

Angelique Kerber and Ajla Tomjlanovic have played each other twice before, and their head-to-head currently stands at 2-0 in favor of Kerber. The three-time Grand Slam champion has won both their matches in straight sets.

Angelique Kerber vs Ajla Tomljanovic prediction

Angelique Kerber at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships
Angelique Kerber at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships

Angelique Kerber and Ajla Tomljanovic have contrasting styles of play. While the German is one of the best counterpunchers on tour, her younger opponent relies on her powerful groundstrokes to dictate play from the baseline.

Neither is known to be a strong server, so they're equally matched in that department. However, Kerber makes up for her average serve by being extremely precise and proactive in her return games. That could put pressure on Tomljanovic, who struggles to stay focused when things don't go her way.

That said, the Australian defeated Garbine Muguruza in a tough three-set battle and kept her cool after losing her lead against Tamara Zidansek. That should give Kerber something to think about.

Given her superior consistency and experience though, the former World No. 1 should be able to grind her way past Tomljanovic's best efforts.

Prediction: Angelique Kerber to win in straight sets.

Edited by Musab Abid
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