The second round of the Indian Wells event in the American desert will feature an intriguing clash between world No. 8 Agnieszka Radwanska and the 44th ranked Alison Riske. It will be the first time that the two competitors will cross paths on the tour, and will place the winner in a third round berth next week.
While Radwanska is currently armed with a significant celebrity coach in 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova, she has had a tempestuous adjustment period that has allowed her only six wins in five tournaments. Following a second round exit from Sydney at the hands of Garbine Muguruza, the Pole reached the fourth round of the Aussie Open before losing to Venus Williams. She then suffered consecutive defeats in the Fed Cup tie against Russia, and lost in the second round in Dubai to Muguruza again. She most recently played in Doha, where she lost in the quarter-final round to Venus Williams.
World No. 44 Alison Riske played her opening round match at Indian Wells on Wednesday afternoon, where she defeated Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in straight sets to advance to the following stage. She won the match 6-2, 6-3, and won 71% of her first service points to close out the contest in 1 hour and 19 minutes.
This marks the first time that Radwanska and Riske will cross paths on the professional tour, and could make for an entertaining affair. The Pole will be the heavy favourite to win the match but she is yet to find her form this season, or any sort of consistency on the WTA tour. It will be interesting to see how she performs against the American in her first match this week.
Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska in Three Sets