Thursday, 26 April, 2018

Venus sets up last-four clash with Kasatkina

Halep and Venus into quarters, Wozniacki falls Daria Kasatkina vs. Venus Williams 2018 Indian Wells Masters Tennis Pick, Odds, Prediction
Lucia Summers | 17 March, 2018, 07:48

They have played twice before in 2016 with Williams winning at Wimbledon, 7-5, 4-6, 10-8 and Kasatkina winning another tough three setter in Auckland, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-3.

In the men's quarterfinals, Borna Coric of Croatia upset No. 7 seed Kevin Anderson 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) for his first win in four tries against the South African.

Kasatkina, a beaten finalist in Dubai last month, had already knocked out grand slam champions Sloane Stephens and Caroline Wozniacki in California this week. Kasatkina has won 79.4% of her service games, the most of any player left in the tournament and up on her season average of 65.2%. Kerber this season has been far more consistent than 2017, but there is still obviously room for more improvement, as she assessed her performance.

Unexpectedly, Suarez Navarro found a new level in her game, and alongside her consistency, she frustrated Williams at the baseline and produced the best reply possible by breaking straight back. The way she handled a vicious forehand from Kerber by slice-returning on the backhand, was probably the shot of the match.

Besides Stephens and Australian Open victor Wozniacki, Kasatkina has beaten the other current Grand Slam titleholders in the past year: French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza. Kasatkina is the second twenty year-old featuring in the semis of the tournament.

And this victory guarantees he will hold onto the top spot after Indian Wells.

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It was a little more competitive from Kerber at the start of the second set, finally getting on the board, but another break swiftly followed.

The sisters squared off in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday, and Venus Williams earned a 6-3, 6-4 victory. Her favorite soccer team is there, and she loves the architecture, the seaside location, and the food, with paella and tapas her top choices. "I like it when it's the unknown, even though it can be a bit scary". "I knew that I had to change something, but I didn't realise what it was exactly", she said. "With good company, of course, you can have a glass or two".

"I just want to be on the central court, prime time", she said, smiling.

As the scoreline suggests, Kasatkina was at her brutal best. "In the evening something special is coming from here, from the heart". However, it was a much hard match-up against Venus Williams earlier today. But she lost her first in a match that started with three consecutive breaks in the opening three games.

Kasatkina, after a haul of high profile victories, defeating the likes of Wozniacki and Kerber, will now face the victor of the match between Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka. Osaka's victims have included Maria Sharapova, No. 31 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 5 Karolina Pliskova.

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