Swiatek seeks to defend Indian Wells Crown

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March 14, 2023
March 14, 2023

The Programme is back at Indian Wells today, previewing two of Tuesday’s biggest matchups at the BNP Paribas Open’s champions. 

After seeing off Canada’s Bianca Andreescu, Iga Swiatek will go up against the UK’s Emma Raducanu at 10pm ET, while No.7 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece will take on seed Karolina Pliskova at the earlier time of 3pm.

Swiatek vs. Raducanu @ 10 p.m. ET: DAZN, Tennis Channel, TVA Sports, TSN

Last year Iga Swiatek won 37 matches on the bounce to claim six straight tournaments, and the world No.1 is wasting no time emulating that form this season.

The 21 year old had to work hard against Bianca Andreescu on Monday though - winning 6-3, 7-6 (1) in a closely fought battle between the two former Indian Wells Champions.

Swiatek converted five of her eight break points against the Canadian, and after booking a place in the round of 16 is still on track to become the first woman since Martina Navratilova to defend a BNP Paribas Open title.

Next up Swiatek will face former U.S. Open winner Emma Raducanu, with the British starlet in fine form coming into tonight’s clash.

Competing in her first tournament since the Australian Open, Raducanu overcame Danka Kovinic and Magda Linette in straight sets before beating Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 on Monday.

It’s the first time the 20 year old has won three matches in a row since claiming the U.S. Open title back in 2021.

Swiatek ran out 6-4, 6-4 winner when the two players last met in Stuttgart last season, and it’s hard to see how the current World No. 1 won’t prevail in California today… 

The Programme Pick: Iga Switek & Under 18.5 games (+100)

Sakkari v Pliskova @ 3pm ET: DAZN, Tennis Channel, TVA Sports, TSN

Maria Sakkari of Greece battled back from a set down for the second match in a row yesterday, as the No.7 seed seeks to reach consecutive BNP Paribas Open finals.

Last year’s runner up overcame No.27 seed Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine to set up a Round of 16 clash against Karolína Plíšková.

It's the sixth career meeting between the two players, with Pliskova out in front after overcoming Sakkari 6-1, 6-2 at the Dubai Tennis Championships last month.

Sakkari will be tired after that two-and-a-half hour slugfest against Kalinina, and 30 year old Pliskova, who beat Veronika Kudermetova 6-1, 7-5 on Sunday, comes into tonight's clash as the slight favourite.

We’re backing Sakkari for this one though, with those two consecutive comeback wins showing she’s growing in mental resilience this season. 

The Programme Pick: Maria Sakkari (+105)

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