With both Magdalena Rybarikova and 9th seed Roberta Vinci securing impressive wins in their third round matches, it will be interesting to see who wins this clash between two confident veterans of the tour at the BNP Paribas Open. This match is scheduled to take place last on Stadium 1, and the winner will face 13th seed Victoria Azarenka or 26th seed Sam Stosur in the quarterfinal.
So Far In Indian Wells
Rybarikova has the disadvantage of having to have played in every round, and her road to the fourth round hasn't been easy for the Slovakian. She started with a fairly comfortable 7-6, 6-2 win over Laura Robson but has since had two tough three set battles, coming from a set and a break down to beat 31st Daria Gavrilova 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 before recording an impressive 6-4 3-6 6-3 win over 7th seed Belinda Bencic in the third round. After some surprise wins, she will be fairly confident.
Vinci has had the advantage of a bye in the first round, which could help her if this match is long. She had a very tricky start, edging young star Margarita Gasparyan 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 in the second round, though was extremely impressive as she stormed past 17th seed Elina Svitolina for the loss of just four games in the third round. She'll be very confident after that result.
Whilst Rybarikova will be very confident coming into this clash, fitness could be against her; having two play an extra match than Vinci, and playing two very tough matches in the past couple of days could mean she is slightly tired. The Slovakian will need to serve well against Vinci and may need to finish points off quickly against the Italian, who is a good defender. However Rybarikova is arguably much more powerful than the 9th seed and if she is able to dictate lots of points with her power, she could do well here.
Vinci has had an easier road factoring in her comfortable win over Svitolina and her bye in the first round, though has occasionally struggled this season against more powerful opponents; that could help Rybarikova. The Italian does, however, have the more varied game of the rwo and should look to move Rybarikova around court often to try and dictate as many points as possible. She should also look to try and defend well and hang in points, as Rybarikova could get frustrated.
Surprisingly it is Rybarikova who has won three of the four meetings. They last met back in 2015 (they had not met in over six years before then) where Rybarikova battled past Vinci 0-6, 7-5, 6-2 in a strange match in Istanbul. It will be interesting to see how that affects this match, though arguably both have played better than that this week.
With a big contrast in style this could be an interesting encounter, and hopefully the crowd on Stadium 1 will get a good match. Rybarikova leads the head to head and has an opportunity her but it seems that Vinci, who is playing well and is extremely confident, should edge this.
Prediction: Roberta Vinci in three sets