Fixture: (26) Sorana Cirstea vs Ajla Tomljanovic
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
Sorana Cirstea vs Ajla Tomljanovic preview
26th seed Sorana Cirstea takes on Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round of the Indian Wells Open on Friday.
The Romanian started the year with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Varvara Gracheva at the Melbourne Summer Set 1. However, she lost to Amanda Anisimova in the second round. The 31-year-old then suffered an opening-round elimination in Adelaide after being beaten by Anhelina Kalinina.
Cirstea then reached the fourth round of the Australian Open after beating 20th seed Petra Kvitova, Kristina Kucova and tenth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. She lost to eventual semifinalist Iga Swiatek but not before pushing her to three sets.
The Romanian then reached the second round of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy before losing to eventual champion Anett Kontaveit. She followed this up with another second-round exit at the Qatar Open, losing to Garbine Muguruza.
Cirstea entered the Lyon Open as the second seed and reached the semifinals after wins over Mariam Bolkvadze, Stefanie Vogele and Ana Bondar. However, she lost to an inspired Dayana Yastremska in three sets.
Tomljanovic has had a disappointing start to the year, winning only three matches so far. The Australian started with second-round exits at the Adelaide International and the Sydney International. She then lost to Paula Badosa in the first round of the Australian Open.
Tomljanovic qualified for the main draw at the Dubai Tennis Championships but lost to Varvara Gracheva in the first round. She suffered another opening-round exit at the Qatar Open after being defeated by Daria Kasatkina.
The Australian is now competing at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and reached the second round after beating Hailey Baptiste in the first round in three sets.
Sorana Cirstea vs Ajla Tomljanovic head-to-head
Friday's match will be the third meeting between the two players, but their first in the main draw of a competition. Thus, their head-to-head stands at 0-0.
The winner of will face Alize Cornet or Anna Kalinskaya in the third round.
Sorana Cirstea vs Ajla Tomljanovic prediction
Cirstea will be the favorite to win the match given her current form but Tomljanovic will rely on previous experience to give the Romanian a tough fight.
The 31-year-old will rely on her serve and powerful, flat groundstrokes for winners. Her backhand is a formidable weapon and can put Tomljanovic under pressure.
The Australian has a solid backhand as well and will look to use that shot to dictate the play. Tomljanovic is also a capable server and can produce aces at will. However, she needs to stay solid on second serve, which has proven to be a problem for her in the past.
The 28-year-old can put up a fight against Cirstea but the latter will likely manage to edge her out and reach the third round.
Prediction: Sorana Cirstea to win in three sets.