Petra Kvitova dropped just four games in her opening match.
Fixture: (7) Petra Kvitova vs (27) Victoria Azarenka
Date: 10 October 2021
Tournament: BNP Paribas Open
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: Indian Wells, USA
Category: WTA 1000
Prize money: $8,761,725
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK – Amazon Prime Video
Petra Kvitova vs Victoria Azarenka preview
Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka will lock horns in a blockbuster third-round encounter at the 2021 BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.
Kvitova, the seventh seed, started off her campaign with a thumping 6-2, 6-2 win over the Netherlands’ Arantxa Rus.
The Czech has played some solid tennis in the lead-up to Indian Wells, reaching the semifinals at her home event in Ostrava. She will look to continue in the same vein in Indian Wells.
Victoria Azarenka at the 2021 US Open.
Azarenka, meanwhile, progressed to the third round courtesy a mid-match retirement from Magda Linette. The Belarusian claimed a hard-fought opening set 7-5 and led 3-0 in the second before a leg injury forced Linette to retire.
Azarenka has been in decent form this season, but is yet to hit the heights expected of her. She will hope to claim the title at Indian Wells and build momentum for the rest of the season.
Petra Kvitova vs Victoria Azarenka head-to-head
Petra Kvitova leads Victoria Azarenka in their current head-to-head by a 5-3 margin. The Czech registered a straight-sets win over the Belarusian in their most recent meeting, in St. Petersburg in 2019.
Petra Kvitova vs Victoria Azarenka prediction
Kvitova will be looking to extend her lead in the rivalry.
Petra Kvitova will enter this contest looking to extend her lead over Victoria Azarenka in their rivalry.
The Czech does not enjoy playing in slow conditions, but did well to make the necessary adjustments in her opening match against Rus. The Czech’s baseline game was firing on all cylinders and she was also able to mix in a few dropshots and net approaches that caught Rus off guard.
That kind of variety will come in handy against an opponent like Azarenka, who likes to settle into a rhythm from the back of the court. The Belarusian wasn’t at her best in her second-round encounter against Linette, but managed to lift her game in the crunch moments.
Neither player posted the best serving numbers in their respective openers, landing less than 50% first serves. Considering the strength of their return games, they will both need to improve their serving numbers on Sunday.
Kvitova, in particular, will bank on her lefty serve to drag Azarenka wide and keep her off balance. If the Czech can stay solid on serve, she should be able to come through this tussle.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova to win two tight sets