WTA – Indian Wells preview!

The long awaited Pete’s review for Indian Wells is here! I wholeheartedly hope you like, and it is NOT AS LONG AS IT SEEMS

 

Forget about Serena’s illness and Venus’ injury – they wouldn’t be there anyway. Other than that, the field is complete for Indian Wells, the first out of four Premier Mandatory tournaments (still trying to get it, but just as important as the Masters for ATP). Without them (world no. 11 and 8, respectively), Klara Zakopalova and Julia Goerges (who had an awful Latin American swing in Colombia and Mexico) were promoted to seeds.

But let’s start this preview with the top-seeds. It’s Indian Wells, so, whoever follows tennis for a while doesn’t need any special reasons to watch it. But if I had to point some reasons why the BNP Paribas Open is a must-watch, they would be:

Unlikely ATP, the number 1 is at stake – again. Yes, this is true. After losing her crown to Kim Clijsters for a single week before claiming it again in Dubai, Wozniacki, who’s already the 3rd active player who spent most weeks topping the rankings, could be replaced by Kimmie again.

That’s because the Dane made it all the way to the finals last year – then lost to Jelena Jankovic – while Kim, who won the last big events in the USA (Cincinnati and US Open) lost in her second match after a bye. With fewer points to defend and a hell of a record in 2011 (made finals in all three tournaments played, compiling a 16-win record for only a couple of losses), Clijsters needs to, at least, reach 4th round and after that, finish one round better than Caro to start a 5th term as the no.1 (Thanks @Kfish_WTA for the help!)

If Kim takes over the no.1 again, will be the second change in the lead of the rankings in less than four months this year; last time this happened in ATP, was back in ’03. Ever since, Federer took from Rod in 2004, lost to Nadal in 2008, who lost to Federer in 2009, who was dethroned again by Nadal in 2010.

– Zvonareva, Jankovic, Kvitova – Three players you should watch. The Russian, who was always acquainted to victories, made two Grand Slam finals last year, peaking at no.2 after the US Open. This year, hadn’t had the best start of year, but made it to the Semifinals at the Australian Open, when Kim Clijsters, in one of her best performances since returning from retirement, denied Vera’s third straight Major final. After that, failed to retain Pattaya title for a third straight year and lost in the early rounds of Dubai, but the momentum swung to her side, and she rode it to capture Doha crown.

As for Jankovic, the former no.1 didn’t end 2010 well AT ALL, failing to win more than two straight matches after the US Open. But new year, new life, and JJ reached three straight semifinals for the first time since 2008, when rose to no.1. She didn’t win a title, that’s true, but she at least reached her first final since the last European clay swing. She’s also defending the title – which is not a clear advantage, since only Navratilova successfully defended an IW title – and could face Ana Ivanovic/Petra Kvitova, Kim Clijsters and Vera Zvonareva before getting to the finals. At least would be entertaining.

Kvitova hasn’t broken through top-10 yet, that’s true. But the young woman who turns 21 today (08.03) is rising. The skilled left-handed Czech (not uncommon, believe me) has already won two titles this year – the last, at Paris, was against new no.1 Kim Clijsters – playing in a very impressive and pleasant way. Luck shouldn’t be by her side when the draw was made – she may face Ana Ivanovic in the 3rd round, Jankovic in the 4th, Kim in the quarterfinals and Zvonareva is the highest seed she could face in the semis. But, really? Somehow I believe she can do it. I’m also picturing her with the arms crossed, saying “Challenge accepted.

Sharapova and Ivanovic – Even if you don’t even know what a winner is, Ana and Masha faces are probably familiar to you. They’re not riding the best streaks of their winning careers, but the expectation is always there: “Will they do something great this time?” Who knows? But if I had to make a bet, would put (not my) money on Sharapova – Rezai, Hantuchova and Stosur are not half as scary as Kvitova, Jankovic and Clijsters.

The Streaky ones – Schiavone, Stosur and Li Na. Three players that combine for only ten titles, with nearly a thousand times more fans than this. Schiavone, who is the current Roland Garros and Fed Cup champion, is known for never giving up, but even though she made an epic match in Oz vs. Kuznetsova and put up a huge fight vs. Caro, she has lost her last two matches, and hasn’t won more than two in a row since the Australian Open (but set a new CH few weeks ago, as no.4).

Sam, known for her volleys, the beauty playing style, her sunglasses and… the lack of consistent results. Pretty much my voice there, but I’m still trying to understand how the former doubles no.1 and Roland Garros runner-up has only won two titles. Yes, you read right. She’s no.4 and won only two titles. And, after getting Kerber or qualy after the bye, she could play either Hantuchova or Safina. I can’t even turn the upset alert on!

Li Na… well, the Chinese player who, in Melbourne, made her way, more than only to the final, but to the hearts of the tennis lovers (blargh, me excluded) always struggled with injuries and the natural difficulties a Chinese woman has. Now no.7, the woman whose husband is more famous than her in her home country (and no, he is not a pop star or something like, he’s just… her husband) is yet to win a match after the Australian Open. I say that, after a bye, Peng/Voracova and with Dulgheru as her 3rd round seed, her chances for a good run are considerably good.

OMG, will they be back for good one day? – I look at the draw and can’t see many floaters and sleepers. Ok, then. So I will just keep wondering that <<<<< about Safina (plays Parra Santonja), Chakvetadze (gets Qualy) and Dokic (probably playing the qualy).

No, there will NOT BE a topic only for hotties. – but mark my only words: Daniela Hantuchova. Thank you for your attention.

Why am I going to watch Indian Wells? – Because I love tennis. But I felt this need to post my support here to Kim, Pavs, Wicky and, in a smaller scale (just because I find them cute, you may notice that checking the “About” section), Aggie (Aga just doesn’t sound nice, maybe because that’s the name of the “H” in Pt) Radwanska and Alexandra Dulgheru.

 

Down below, the ultimate (:P) Indian Wells stats. Hope you like it!

 

#1 (1) – Caroline Wozniacki

YTD Win-Loss: 13-3, with one title at Dubai, Runner-Up at Doha

Career titles: 13

Career Win-Loss: 248-93

At Indian Wells – last year: Finalist – lost do Jelena Jankovic

Indian Wells appearances and record: 4 (2007–), with a 12-4 record (Best: ’10 Final)

 

#2 (2) – Kim Clijsters

YTD Win-Loss: 16-2, with Australian Open title and finals at Sydney and Paris

Career titles: 41

Career Win-Loss: 496-116

At Indian Wells – last year: 3rd round – lost to #23 Alisa Kleybanova

Indian Wells appearances and record: 7 (2000-05, 10-), with a 22-4 record (Champion in ’03 and ’05, defeating Lindsay Davenport on both occasions)

 

#3 (3) – Vera Zvonareva

YTD Win-Loss: 13-4, with one title – Doha (d. Wozniacki)

Career titles: 11

Career Win-Loss: 410-192

At Indian Wells – last year: 4th round – lost to #11 Samantha Stosur

Indian Wells appearances and record: 6 (2003-04, ’07-), with a 20-5 record (Champion in ’09, defeating Ana Ivanovic)

 

#4 (4) – Samantha Stosur

YTD Win-Loss: 6-6, highlighted by a QF run in Dubai (l. to Jankovic)

Career titles: 2

Career Win-Loss: 319-232

At Indian Wells – last year: Semifinals – lost to eventual champion Jankovic

Indian Wells appearances and record: 6 (2004-07, ’09-), with a 12-6 record. Best: SF last year

 

#5 (5) – Francesca Schiavone

YTD Win-Loss: 6-6, highlighted by the Epic Australian Open match vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova and the Quarterfinals there.

Career titles: 4

Career Win-Loss: 456-314

At Indian Wells – last year: 3rd round – l. to #21 Aravane Rezai

Indian Wells appearances and record: 9 (2001-05, ’07-), with a 7-9 record. Best: R16 in ’08, lost do Ana Ivanovic.

 

#6 (6) – Jelena Jankovic

YTD Win-Loss: 11-5; Riding three SF streak (Dubai, Doha and Monterrey), Runner-up at the last.

Career Titles: 12

Career Win-Loss: 425-218

At Indian Wells – last year: Champion – d. Caroline Wozniacki

Indian Wells appearances and record: 9 (2001; ’03-), with a 13-8 record (Champion in 2010, defeating Caroline Wozniacki)

 

Other top-10 seeds

#7 (7) – Li Na

YTD Win-Loss: 11-3, Sydney champion, R-Up at the Australian Open

Career Win-Loss/titles: 368-136 – 4

At Indian Wells: 4 appearances (2006-07, ’09-), with 10-4 record (Best: ’07 Semifinal, l. to Hantuchova)

Last year: 2nd round (had bye) – lost to #65 Baltacha.

 

#8 (9) – Victoria Azarenka

YTD Win-Loss: 6-4, highlighted by QF run at Sydney

Career Win-Loss, titles: 230-109 – 5

At Indian Wells: 4 appearances (2006-07, ’09-), with 10-4 record (Best: ’09 Semifinal, l. to Zvonareva)

Last year: 3rd round – lost to #33 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

 

#9 (10) – Agnieszka Radwanska

YTD Win-Loss: 6-3, highlighted by Australian Open Quarterfinal

Career Win-Loss, titles: 249-119 – 4

At Indian Wells: 4 (2007-), with 11-4 record (Best: ’10 Semifinal, l. to Wozniacki)

 

#10 (12) – Shahar Peer

YTD Win-Loss: 8-5, highlighted by Dubai Quarterfinal

Career Win-Loss, titles: 312-156 – 5

At Indian Wells: 5 (2006-), with 11-5 record (Best: ’07 Quarterfinal, l. to Hantuchova)

Last year: R16, lost to #9 Jelena Jankovic

 

Other seeds:

#11 (13) – Svetlana Kuznetsova

 

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 425-184 (12-6) – 13

Indian Wells: 18-7 record (R-Up in ’07 and ’08). ’10: 2nd Round

 

#12 (14) – Petra Kvitova

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 157-83 (16-2) – 3 (2)

Indian Wells: 3-2 record (R32 in ’09). ’10: 2nd Round

 

#13 (15) – Flavia Pennetta

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 458-274 (13-4) – 9

Indian Wells: 7-8 record (R16 in ’09). ’10: R32

 

#14 (16) – Kaia Kanepi

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 294-180 (7-5) – 1

Indian Wells: 3-5 (R32 in ’09). ’10: R128

 

#15 (17) – Marion Bartoli

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 382-241 (13-6) – 5

Indian Wells: 10-8 (R16 in ’07, ’08 and ’10).

 

#16 (18) – Maria Sharapova

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 374-93 (5-3) – 22

Indian Wells: 20-7 (’06 Champion). ’10: R32

 

#17 (19) – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 165-85 (13-4) – 3 (1)

Indian Wells: 6-2 (SF in ’09). ’10: R32

 

#18 (20) – Nadia Petrova

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 460-249 (4-5) – 9

Indian Wells: 10-6 (R16 in ’07 and ’10)

 

#19 (21) – Ana Ivanovic

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 272-112 (2-3) – 10

Indian Wells: 15-4 (’08 Champion). ’10: R64 (out of bye)

 

#20 (22) – Aravane Rezai

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 228-147 (1-3) – 4

Indian Wells: 4-4 (R16 in ’10).

 

#21 (23) – Andrea Petkovic

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 227-140 (13-4) – 1

Indian Wells: 1-2 (R128 in ’10)

 

#22 (24) – Alisa Kleybanova

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 228-114 (8-6) – 2

Indian Wells: 5-5 (Quarterfinals in ’10)

 

#23 (25) – Yanina Wickmayer

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 223-100 (11-5) – 3

Indian Wells: 3-2 (R16 in ’10)

 

#24 (26) – Maria Kirilenko

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 263-189 (2-4) – 5

Indian Wells: 8-7 (R16 in ’05). ’10: R32

 

#25 (27) – Dominika Cibulkova

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 190-122 (9-7) – 0

Indian Wells: 1-3 (R32 in ’08). ’10: R64 (out of bye)

 

#26 (31) – Daniela Hantuchova

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 426-268 (7-6) – 4 (1)

Indian Wells: 22-7 (Champion in 2002 and ’07). ’10: R64 (had bye)

 

#27 (28) – Alexandra Dulgheru

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 180-107 (1-5) – 2

Indian Wells: 1-1 (R32 in ’10)

 

#28 (29) – Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 319-202 (4-4) – 3

Indian Wells: 4-3 (Quarterfinals in 2010)

#29 (30) – Jarmila Groth

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 294-171 (15-6) – 2 (1)

Indian Wells: 1-4 (R128 in 2007). ’10: Fell in the qualifying

 

#30 (33) – Tsvetana Pironkova

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 271-157 (2-4) – 0

Indian Wells: 7-5 (R64 in ‘06/07/08/09/10)

 

#31 (34) – Klara Zakopalova

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 368-293 (10-6) – 2

Indian Wells: 2-8 (R64 in ’03, ’06 and ’08). ’10: Fell in qualifying

 

#32 (35) – Julia Goerges

Career W-L (YTD), titles: 196-119 (8-6) – 1

Indian Wells: 1-3 (R64 in ’10)

 

And that’s it. For more info, check the “Schedule” section soon.

 

Thank you for your visit!

 

Peter S.

About Pete S. Liguori
Pete was born in São Paulo, Brasil. Loves sports - pigskin fanatic, tennis lover. One of his most famous quotes is "I'm no Tolstoi, but I love the Dallas Cowboys" His favorite quote of all time is "I'll keep playing", unknown author.

2 Responses to WTA – Indian Wells preview!

  1. Dutch says:

    VERY information post! I want to see the Petko-Dance AT LEAST twice!

  2. Dutch says:

    VERY informative**** post NOT information post! I need to get more sleep.🙂

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