A second round match-up between Agnieszka Radwanska and Britain’s Heather Watson takes place at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. This marks the third time these two meet on the professional tour, and the first time not in a Grand Slam environment. Radwanska holds a 2-0 lead in the head-to-head series.
The world No. 3 is coming off a disappointing second round exit in Dubai to Flavia Pennetta. Prior to that unexpected exit, she had a strong week in Doha, where she reached the semi-final stage of the tournament before losing to eventual champion Simona Halep in straight sets. Prior to that, the Polish No. 1 reached the semi-finals in Melbourne, losing to Dominika Cibulkova, and the Fed Cup tie against Sweden, where she won both her matches in straight sets.
Radwanska will be looking to rebound from her short week in Dubai with a strong showing in Indian Wells. Her best result here was a semi-final appearance in 2010, where she lost to Caroline Wozniacki. She is currently defending fourth round points at the event, where she lost to Maria Kirelenko at last year’s event.
Former British No. 1 Heather Watson reached the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells with a 7-5 6-4 victory over Swiss Belinda Bencic. After retiring against Duval last week in Acapulco, this is an impressive rebound from the current British No. 3. The win set up her second round encounter with Radwanksa, who has beaten her handily in their previous two meetings on the tour.
“This will be a different atmosphere, but I’m really looking forward to playing her again.” Watson said following her first round victory. “I’m not going to give away my tactics, but I’m not going to go in playing the same way I did the other two times.”
This marks the third time these two competitors meet on the WTA tour, with Radwanska leading the head-to-head series 2-0. Their previous two meeting were at Grand Slam events, the 2012 Wimbledon Championships and the 2013 Australian Open, both of which the Polish No. 1 won in comfortable fashion. While Watson has already played four matches on this surface, it will likely not be enough for her to overcome the crafty Radwanska. She has never managed a single set against the 2nd seed and will likely suffer the same fate tomorrow afternoon.
Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska in Straight Sets