WTA Premier - BNP Paribas Open Preview

Tennis player stands with racquet in hand

We preview the first two quarter-finals of the BNP Parisbas Open coming your way from Indian Wells.

Simona Halep 1/4 | Petra Martic 3/1 (Forecast Odds)
World Number One and 2015 champion Simona Halep will have breathed a massive sigh of relief following that brutal third round match against Caroline Dolehide. The Romanian survived a huge scare in an event that has already accounted for the likes of Muguruza, Kvitova and Svitolina, not to mention Serna Williams. Halep picked up that early season win in Shenzhen, only for yet another Grand Slam Final heartbreak. She had to withdraw from Doha in the semi-final stage, but it seems as if her body is in excellent shape this week. She will have welcomed the comfy 7-5, 6-1 win over Qiang Wang in the third, as she looks forward to a match against 27 year-old Petra Martic. 

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Martic has already picked up one of the biggest upsets in the tournament, knocking out French Open Champion Jelena Ostapenko in the third round. She has overcome a tough draw, with Tatjana Maria and Barbora Strycova her first two vanquished opponents. She is yet to drop a set after yet another polished victory over Marketa Vondrusova. Her victory over Ostapenko was her first against a top 10 opponent in six years. She enjoys a dead heat 1-1 head-to-head record against Halep, though those matches date back to 2011 and 2015. She was excellent in Melbourne, going out to eventual semi-finalist Elize Mertens in the Round of 16. Halep should have too much, but something tells me that there could be some value in a fanciful bet here, especially giving Halep’s tendency to break down emotionally and physically. 3/1 for Martic may be worth something here. 

Karolina Pliskova 4/7 | Naomi Osaka 11/8 (Forecast Odds)
This is a section of the draw that has seen some big guns slain. With Naomi Osaka responsible for a shock Sharapova downfall. Petra Kvitova, Coco Vandewegh and Garbine Muguruza have also been victims of this draw. Fifth seed Karolina Pliskova came into this event with very little form to speak of and now looks an odds-on bet for a quarterfinal berth. She lost in the quarters in Dubai and round of 16 in Doha. She was also crushed by Halep in the Australian Open quarterfinal. She has had a decent draw, overcoming Irina-Camelia Begu in the second round before making extremely heavy weather of Shuai Zhang in the third. She had a far more elementary task in taking down Amanda Anisimova in the Round of 16, and she will be feeling exceptionally confident in an event that has seen the demise of many seeds thus far. 

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Naomi Osaka is having a dream event, having overcome former champion and former World Number One Maria Sharapova in the opening round. She then went on to down former world number 2 Radwanska before a victory over Sachia Vickery. She hadn’t dropped a set before a tougher Round of 16 match against Sakkari pushed her to three. Pliskova leads the head-to-head against Osaka 1-0, although that tie on the Canadian Hardcourts last year is an intriguing one. Osaka actually withdrew having just levelled the match at a set a piece. I just think that Pliskova won’t let this opportunity slip, especially giving the major casualties elsewhere. 4/7 seems about right to me. 

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.net

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