In the 2019 WTA Indian Wells Open, German tennis player, Mona Barthel, will face the number 17 seed, Madison Keys from the United States.
Madison Keys received an opening round bye due to her high seeding meaning that this will be her first match of the tournament. It has been a decent break from individual tennis for Madison Keys as she last played at the Australian Open. Keys made the fourth round of the Australian Open which was a decent result for the American. Outside of individual play, Keys was also a part of the US Fed Cup team where she played reasonably well with a record of 1-1. Madison Keys has a very poor record at the Indian Wells Open as she has only won 45% of her matches at this venue. Keys best performance at this tournament was in 2017 where she made the fourth round.
On the other side of the court, Mona Barthel enters this match having won her previous fixture in 3 sets. During the win, Barthel impressed with her returning as she won over 40% of her return points which allowed her to break her opponent’s serve on 7 occasions. While the win would have been satisfying, Barthel has not been playing well this season with a record of 3-4. With that in mind, it is hard to see Barthel finding the form to beat a much more accomplished player in Madison Keys.
Madison Keys and Mona Barthel have played twice in the past with Keys winning on both occasions. The most recent match between these two players was in 2013 at Wimbledon where Keys won in straight sets.
All in all, I am picking Madison Keys to win. While Keys has not been at her best, neither has Barthel. Keys is a better player and much more accomplished so I am picking her to win the contest.