TennisSection previews the 2023 WTA Indian Wells tournament as Petra Kvitova takes on Jelena Ostapenko in the third round on Sunday, March 12, 2023.
It is a battle of the heavyweights as two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova faces one-time Roland Garros winner Jelena Ostapenko in a marquee third-round match at Indian Wells. Who will prevail and advance into the second week in the California desert?
Petra Kvitova vs. Jelena Ostapenko Match Preview
Petra Kvitova came in as the 16th seed at Indian Wells, but she hasn’t had a great record down the years by her own lofty standards. This is among the few big titles the Czech has not won, but looked sharp and focused in her second-round win over Elizabeth Mandlik. Kvitova foiled the American wild card’s attempt to serve for the second set and came through in 86 minutes, 6-1 7-5.
Jelena Ostapenko, meanwhile, reached double-digits in her match-win count for the 2023 season. The Latvian big hitter won a topsy-turvy three-setter against the dangerous baseliner Aliaksandra Sasnovich. The match was full of wild momentum shifts, but it was Ostapenko who cleaned up her second serve to power through 7-5 3-6 6-2 in two hours and 5 minutes.
Petra Kvitova vs. Jelena Ostapenko Prediction and Pick
Petra Kvitova leads Jelena Ostapenko 5-4 in the series, but Ostapenko leads 3-2 on outdoor hard courts. The Latvian has looked in better form than Kvitova, having reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January. The thing about Ostapenko this year, she’s been winning those close matches which she ought to have lost against inferior opposition in the last few seasons. That bodes well for her for the rest of the tournament. A win over Kvitova would serve as notice that she is not here to make up the numbers. I think Kvitova doesn’t fare well when she has so much time in her shots. She easily complicates her shots. And the slow-playing conditions at Indian Wells offer that. You could go with the games spread or Ostapenko to win a set for a safe bet. But we reckon the Latvian will still have too much nous for the declining Czech in ML.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Jelena Ostapenko in 3 sets
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