TennisSection previews the 2021 Indian Wells Open as Jelena Ostapenko (24) meets Victoria Azarenka (27) in the Semi-Finals on Friday October 15th, 2021.
The highly experienced duo of Jelena Ostapenko and Victoria Azarenka will do battle here at the 2021 Indian Wells Open with a spot in the Final up for grabs. Azarenka is a former champion here at the BNP Paribas Open and they are both former Grand Slam winners, so it should make for a very high-quality match. They have both been inconsistent this season however, so this will be the perfect opportunity for them to make their mark in 2021 and end the season on a high. Who will get the win and advance to the Final?
Jelena Ostapenko is the 24th seed here at the 2021 Indian Wells Open and is currently ranked #29 on the WTA Tour. The Latvian star is best known for her surprise run to the title at the 2017 French Open, but has never truly reached the heights that many thought she would after that stunning victory. After a mixed season, she has been outstanding here in Indian Wells, and she has also reached the Semi-Finals of the doubles event. She overcome a tough Shelby Rogers in the Quarter-Finals, pulling through in three sets to add to her impressive victories over Iga Swiatek and Yulia Putinseva to reach this stage. While she is ranked slightly higher than her opponent Victoria Azarenka it is hard to consider her the favorite, and it is very evenly matched here.
Victoria Azarenka is a former champion here at Indian Wells, and is currently ranked #32 on the WTA Tour. The Belarusian has had a long and glittering career, but has never quite been able to rediscover her best form from years ago when she was ranked number one in the world. She is still capable of some world-class tennis but has struggled to string consistent results together, which is a bit strange for her. However she has looked to be in fantastic form this week, and has reached the Semi-Finals without dropping a set. It’s not just the score lines that have been impressive, it is the manner in which she has both dominated and outsmarted her opponents, and she has been very tactically solid. In this type of form she should be considered the slight favorite here against Jelena Ostapenko, especially due to her vast experience.
This will be the second meeting between the two players, with Azarenka leading the head to head 1-0. They have never played before on this surface however, with their only previous match being on clay in 2019. This is likely to be a very close contest, with both women at the top of their game and playing extremely well. After considering everything, it is hard to look past Victoria Azarenka here, as she has been utterly dominant this week, and the fact that she is a past winner here will be in her favour. Jelena Ostapenko has also been impressive but has spent a lot of time on the court and fatigue may be an issue. It will very likely be three sets, but give me the more focused and experienced player in that type of situation, and that is Victoria Azarenka.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Victoria Azarenka to win in 3 sets
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