Saturday, 17 March 2012

Indian Wells Final Preview & Predictions - Azarenka v Sharapova

Maria Sharapova
The Indian Wells final will be contested between the world number one and world number two in a repeat of the Australian Open final.  Victoria Azarenka has continued her superb start to 2012 with a series of comprehensive victories over Svetlana Kuznetsova, Julia Goerges, Agnieszka Radwanska and Angelique Kerber, who provided a stern test in the semi-finals but lost to the Belarusian, 6-4 6-3.  Maria Sharapova has had a solid week and like Azarenka, has lost only one set throughout the tournament.  She came through her semi-final with Ana Ivanovic after the Serb had to retire through injury trailing 6-4 0-1.  

The last three encounters between Azarenka and Sharapova on hard courts have all gone the way of Azarenka and convincingly too in straight sets.  I'm sticking by my original pick in Azarenka to win the title and keep the stunning unbeaten run going.  She is playing with such consistency at the moment and I have been particularly impressed with her backhand, which has been on fire this week.  Sharapova has played well to reach the final, but I still feel there is more to come from the Russian over the next few months.  I think it will be closer than the Australian Open final, but Azarenka will still comfortably take it in straight sets.

Overall, Indian Wells has been a little disappointing for me.  There have been no standout matches and the stomach bug that hit the desert has played havoc with quite a few matches on the schedule.  I must say i'm feeling very excited about the prospect of the next tournament in Miami, which starts next Tuesday.  It has the potential to be a blockbuster with the expected returns of Kleybanova, Serena, Venus and Clijsters.  I have got my fingers crossed that it lives up to its billing :-)

Indian Wells Final Prediction - Azarenka d. Sharapova 6-4 6-2

You can view my original predictions here... I correctly predicted an Azarenka v Sharapova final (this is a rare moment of success for me so I am celebrating!!!)

My full drawsheet for the women's draw is available here.

1 comment:

  1. Nice wrie up as always James :)
    Keep it up :)