Fixture: (2) Aryna Sabalenka vs (6) Coco Gauff.
Date: March 15, 2023.
Tournament: BNP Paribas Open.
Venue: Indian Wells, California, USA.
Category: WTA 1000.
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt.
Prize money: $8,800,000.
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel | UK – Amazon Prime Video.
Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff preview
Reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka will take on World No. 6 Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals of the 2023 BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday.
Following a first-round bye, Sabalenka scored a dominant 6-2, 6-0 win over Evgeniya Rodina in the second round. She was slated to face Lesia Tsurenko in the third round, but received a walkover from her opponent.
Sabalenka’s fourth-round opponent was Barbora Krejcikova, the only player to defeat her this year. She lost to the Czech at last month’s Dubai Tennis Championships in three sets.
The Belarusian raced to a quick 5-1 lead in the opening set, but was unable to close out the set on her first try. Krejcikova fought back by winning the next couple of games, but Sabalenka nipped her comeback in the bud and served out the set on her next attempt.
Krejcikova leveled the proceedings by claiming the second set, breaking her opponent’s serve twice in the process. Sabalenka then secured an early break of serve to go 3-1 up in the deciding set.
The World No. 2 held on to the lead and despite some pushback from Krejcikova, she went on to win the match 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. She has now made it to the quarterfinals here for the first time.
Gauff, meanwhile, advanced to the fourth round following wins over Cristina Bucsa and Linda Noskova, where she was up against Rebecca Peterson. The teenager trailed 2-1 in the first set, but stormed back by winning five of the next six games to take the set.
Peterson responded by bagging the second set in dominant fashion as she dished out a breadstick to her opponent. She led 4-2 in the final set, but Gauff staged an incredible fightback by reeling off the next four games to win the match 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.
Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff head-to-head
Gauff leads Sabalenka 3-1 in the head-to-head. She won their previous encounter at the 2022 Canadian Open in three sets.
Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff odds
(Odds are sourced from BetMGM)
Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff prediction
Both Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff recovered quite well from a second set stumble in the previous round to emerge victorious. The latter needed to go the extra mile as well as she trailed by a break in the deciding set.
Gauff’s troublesome forehand almost sent her packing in the previous round, but her fighting spirit pulled her over the finish line. She has previously been able to handle Sabalenka’s power-packed game with her athleticism and defensive skills, but will need something more this time around.
While Gauff has a winning record against Sabalenka, the latter is in great form at the moment. She’s oozing confidence following her run at the Australian Open and has lost just one match this year.
The slow conditions here blunt Sabalenka’s game just a bit, but she has managed to do well here so far. Given their history, Gauff does have a shot, but if the Belarusian maintains her current level then there’s no stopping her.
Pick: Aryna Sabalenka to win in three sets.