American tennis superstar, Venus Williams will begin her 2019 WTA Indian Wells Open against Andrea Petkovic from Germany.
Andrea Petkovic enters this match having last played at the Hungarian Open where she made it into the round of 16. It has been a very poor 2019 season for Petkovic as she has only won 1 non-qualifier match all season. The serve has been the biggest issue for Andrea Petkovic as she has lost 10 service games in the 3 matches she has played. Andrea Petkovic is a very accomplished player as she has won 6 WTA and has been ranked in the top 10. That being said, Andrea Petkovic has had big issues with injury over the past few seasons and she is a significantly poorer player now than she was during her peak.
On the other side of the coin, Venus Williams will be playing her first tournament since the Australian Open in January. It has been a decent 2019 season for Venus as she made the quarterfinals of the WTA Auckland Open and the third round of the Australian Open. Similar to her opponent, Venus Williams is past the peak of her career but she still showed her quality in the two tournaments she has played this season. The Indian Wells Open has not been the strongest tournament for Venus as she has never made the final of this event. Considering her strong career record, the Indian Wells Open is one of Venus Williams's weakest tournaments. With that in mind, Venus made the semifinals at this event last season so she should be feeling comfortable about returning to this venue.
Andrea Petkovic and Venus Williams have played each other 4 times in the past with both players winning on 2 occasions. The most recent match between these two players was in 2014 where Andrea Petkovic won in 3 sets. Venus Williams’s last win over Andrea Petkovic was in 2012 at WTA Luxembourg.
As far as this match is concerned, I am going to pick Venus Williams to win. Andrea Petkovic has looked very poor this season and her serve is a big weakness. Venus, on the other hand, has had a decent start to the season. Returning to the USA will give Venus a big boost as she should enjoy the support of the home fans. With that in mind, I see Venus Williams easing into the second round of the tournament.