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Indian Wells 2022: Belinda Bencic vs Kaia Kanepi preview, head-to-head & prediction | BNP Paribas Open

Kaia Kanepi (R) and Belinda Bencic
Kaia Kanepi (R) and Belinda Bencic
Vedant Chandel

Match details

Fixture: (22) Belinda Bencic vs Kaia Kanepi

Date: 11 March 2022

Tournament: BNP Paribas Open

Round: Second round (Round of 64)

Venue: Indian Wells, California, USA

Category: WTA 1000

Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt

Prize money: $8,369,455

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

Belinda Bencic vs Kaia Kanepi preview

Belinda Bencic will open her 2022 BNP Paribas Open campaign in the second round against Kaia Kanepi on Friday.

Bencic, the 22nd seed, hasn't made the best of starts to the new season and comes into the tournament on the back of a first-round exit at the Qatar Open.

The Swiss will hope to rediscover her best form at a venue where she's had success in the past. Bencic reached the semifinals in her last appearance in the California desert and will be keen to replicate that result at the very least.

Kaia Kanepi won her opening match in straight sets.
Kaia Kanepi won her opening match in straight sets.

Kanepi, meanwhile, has continued from where she left off at the Australian Open, where she made the quarterfinals.

The Estonian dismissed the challenge of wildcard Robin Montgomerey 6-3, 6-3. Kanepi produced a fine display of attacking tennis, preventing her much younger opponent from gaining a foothold in the match.

Belinda Bencic vs Kaia Kanepi head-to-head

Belinda Bencic leads Kaia Kanepi 1-0 in their current head-to-head. The Swiss beat the Estonian 6-3, 6-1 at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

Belinda Bencic vs Kaia Kanepi prediction

Bencic reached the last four in her last appearance at Indian Wells.
Bencic reached the last four in her last appearance at Indian Wells.

Belinda Bencic will be the clear favorite coming into this contest, but she could face a stiff challenge from Kaia Kanepi.

The Swiss likes to take the ball early and move her opponents around the court. But she might find it difficult to control the rallies against Kanepi considering the weight of the Estonian's shots.

Kanepi's powerful groundstrokes were firing on all cylinders in her first-round encounter against Montgomery. She coughed up nine double faults, but she managed to make up for it with her consistent baseline hitting.

Kanepi will step out swinging on Friday and the onus will be on Bencic to come up with ways to diffuse her opponent's power. Ultimately, the match will be on Kanepi's racquet. As long as she does not leak too many errors, she should be able to emerge with the win.

Prediction: Kaia Kanepi to win in three sets


Edited by Arvind Sriram

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