Saturday, March 18, 2017

2017 INDIAN WELLS: Federer-Wawrinka, Kuznetsova-Vesnina Finals

The finals of the 2017 BNP Paribas Open are now set. On the men's side it will be an all-Swiss affair, with Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer. The two last met in the semifinals of the 2017 Australian Open, where Federer defeated the higher ranked Wawrinka in 5 tough sets on his way to winning his long-sought 18th major title. Federer is playing in his 43rd Masters final (now tied with Novak Djokovic) while Wawrinka is playing in his 4th. The two compatriots have played 22 times before and Federer has only lost 3 times, all on clay. I expect Federer will win this match tomorrow.

On the women's side the WTA tour has been devastated with World #1 Serena Williams' withdrawal from the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments. New World #1 Angelique Kerber lost early to Elena Vesnina, and although Venus Williams took the momentum from her first-round escape against Jelena Jankovic to reach the quarterfinals, she lost against Vesnina who is now playing the best tennis of her careers in her first Premier Mandatory final. The Russian will face another compatriot, 2-time major champion Sveta Kuznetsova, who last reached the final here twice before (2007 l. Daniela Hantuchova and 2008 l. Ana Ivanovic). For the second time this year, a final will be contested between two female players over age 30. Kuznetova is 31 and Vesnina is 30. The two are tied 1-all in their head-to-head. I'm rooting for Kuznetsova to win!

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