Paula Badosa continued her title defence bid with another impressive straight sets victory, this time over Veronika Kudermetova. The Spaniard is yet to drop a set and just like three of the other semi-finalists at this tournament is hoping to become the new world number two. Badosa’s grit mixed with efficient from the power of the court has seen her power game expand into something difficult to break down as she looks for momentum heading into the clay court season.
Standing in Badosa’s way of reaching a second successive final is Maria Sakkari with the Greek defeating Elena Rybakina in her semi-final. Sakkari has continued to progress up the rankings with her effective serving and her efficient ways of transitioning from defence into attack. Now Sakkari aims to win her first WTA 1000 title at Indian Wells and test her ability to produce big moments in the latter stages of tournaments.
This match is tough to call with both players in supreme form and will come down to fine margins and consistency. Sakkari’s defence could be key especially with her variety and slices however Badosa has been hitting her targets accurately and effectively. The power of both players are a big reason of their consistency on the tour and this is what makes this match a tough one to call but the defending champion just has the edge.
Prediction: Badosa in three sets.
Andrey Rublev  v Grigor Dimitrov  H2H & Match Fundamentals
Since losing at the third round stage of the Australian Open, Andrey Rublev has won 14 of his last 15 matches and has looked back to his brilliant best. The 7th seed has claimed titles in Marseille and Dubai as he seemingly is hitting the ball harder and more consistently than before. Now Rublev looks to cap off his recent success with a Masters 1000 title heading into the clay court season.
Next for Rublev is former masters 1000 champion Grigor Dimitrov who always seems to produce some of his best tennis at Indian Wells. After an inconsistent start to the season Dimitrov seems to have found his feet in California having beaten Alexander Bublik and John Isner in this tournament. Now Dimitrov looks to make further gains as his talent would suggest he is owed more than one masters 1000 title.
It will be Rublev’s power against Dimitrov’s athleticism with the Bulgarian looking to pull off one of his trademark performances against top players at Indian Wells. However Rublev’s consistent power and confidence could be too hot for Dimitrov to handle in this contest with the 7th seed being the favourite to reach the final from this side of the draw.
Iga Swiatek sent out an emphatic statement in her quarter-final when she dismantled an erratic Madison Keys with the loss of just one game. The Pole has proved in this tournament her ability to comeback from losing positions to win the match but her more aggressive style of play has seen her to be more clinical when it really matters. Now the third seed looks to capture the title at Indian Wells with the world number two spot being up for grabs in California.
However standing in Swiatek’s way will be the equally impressive Simona Halepwho was just as clinical when she defeated Petra Martic with the loss of two games at Indian Wells. The Romanian has gone under the radar throughout this season and has only dropped one game all tournament as her transition game looks stronger than ever before. Can the former grand slam champion battle her way to another final?
Two players in confident form should make for a great match as Swiatek will look to bring the match to Halep with her aggressive shot-making. The Pole will face a big test and it will be interesting to see how she handles Halep’s counter-attacking game. This should be a tight match but Halep gets the slight edge due to how much energy she has managed to conserve for the final matches of the tournament.
Prediction: Halep in three sets.
Taylor Fritz  v Miomir Kecmanovic H2H & Match Fundamentals
Taylor Fritz has continued to show consistency and fulfil his potential and finally the American has a masters 1000 run to show for it. Having beaten Alex De Minaurin the last round, Fritz now has a real chance to reach the semi-finals with his power game and effective rally tolerance proving why he has been a consistent top 20 player. Can Fritz now claim the biggest title of his career.
First Fritz has to overcome 22 year-oldMiomir Kecmanovic who is having the best tournament of his career having earned two massive wins over Marin Cilic and Matteo Berrettini en route to reaching his first masters 1000 quarter-final. The Serbian has a big game that is made for slower conditions with his solid defensive skillset being one of his strengths. Now Kecmanovic is looking to produce his best tennis to reach a career-defining moment in his career.
Although Kecmanovic will give Fritz problems, the American has been too consistent with his power not to come through this match. The American’s experience in these situations should overcome a valiant effort from the Serbian.
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