2018 Wimbledon winner, Angelique Kerber, has made it into the third round of the 2019 WTA Indian Wells Open. Kerber will now face Russian qualifier, Natalia Vikhlyantseva.
Natalia Vikhlyantseva enters this match having beaten the number 26 seed, Carla Suárez Navarro, in the previous round. It was a very strong performance by Natalia Vikhlyantseva as she won in straight sets. During the win, Vikhlyantseva only lost two games in the entire match. The win was highly mastered by Natalia Vikhlyantseva’s returning as she broke her opponent’s serve on 7 occasions meaning that she won 100% of her return games. This is expected to be a much tougher match for Natalia Vikhlyantseva as she is playing a stronger opponent in Angelique Kerber.
Looking at Angelique Kerber, the German superstar also won her previous match in straight sets. Similar to Natalia Vikhlyantseva, Kerber also dominated with her returning as she won 5 return games. Kerber’s serve was also very strong during the victory as she won 67% of her service points which resulted in her winning all of her service games. Angelique Kerber has a decent record at the Indian Wells Open as she made the quarterfinal of this tournament last season.
This will be the first time that Angelique Kerber and Natalia Vikhlyantseva will be playing each other at a WTA event.
Taking everything into consideration, I am going to pick Angelique Kerber to win this match. While Natalia Vikhlyantseva has impressed all tournament, the Russian lacks experience and is also a much weaker player when compared to Kerber. Kerber is an exceptional defensive player and Natalia Vikhlyantseva is not the strongest server which could also be another problem from the Russian. With all that in mind, I see Kerber winning this match and gaining a spot in the final 16.