Two players who had a very good tournament at Indian Wells recently were Simona Halep and Daria Kasatkina but one of these players will be on their way out of the tournament before it really gets going as both meet for the very first time in round two in Miami.
This is the cruel side of tennis. This would be perfect opportunity to build some momentum after a good week for both players. I think Simona Halep needed the good run in Indian Wells more not only because of the points to defend but since winning the title last year her form has been a bit of a rollercoaster however the intensity was back at Indian Wells.
Halep’s game is at its very best when there’s a high intensity to the rallies. Quite a lot of matches over the past year have been a bit in the air, the intensity levels have been a bit all over the place and there has been a nervousness in my opinion in rallies and they just haven’t had the usual conviction behind shots but that changed at Indian Wells and despite losing in straight sets to Serena I thought she played a decent game and lost the match on moments of brilliance.
Kasatkina has been one of the stories of the year so far on the tour. The 18 year old is fearless and is one win away from her 100th career main draw win which is quite remarkable. She’s got her feet on the ground and hasn’t really got carried away at all with her success, she knows there is a lot of work to do still. She isn’t afraid to try and play her game against top players, she just goes out there and if you don’t try you don’t win.
I like her game it has variety as well as a risk element to it. The forehand is her best weapon especially backing into the forehand corner which opens up the whole court for the cross court or down the line shot.
I don’t think this will be straight forward. I expect Kasatkina to cause plenty of problems for Halep and the longer rallies go on we may see some frustration from the former world number two. To her credit she dug deep in rallies with Serena and produced some excellent shots but not enough to defeat her but I think will have what it takes to advance to round three but I think it will go down to three sets.