It’s hard to imagine, but Grand Slam champions Iga Swiatek and Angelique Kerber have never met on a match court. They are no strangers, however, and have been practicing together, including here at Indian Wells. Now they are awaiting their fourth-round meeting on Tuesday.
Based on their practices, the former world No.1 Kerber said, “I know a little bit what to expect, but of course when you play matches, it’s always a little different. You get tight, you get nervous, emotional, so it’s completely different than practice sessions.” The difference is limited though; with a smile, she added, “of course I will think back to the day we practiced here to make my plan for the match.”
The world No.4 Swiatek has been proving herself on tour in recent years, and Kerber has been watching the ascent. Describing how Swiatek has grown, Kerber said, “She tries to play more aggressive, she’s moving well, so she has everything you need to have for a top player. I think it will be a really tough match, but also it’s always great to have another match against a top player, which I play the first time. it doesn’t happen so often.”
In another match to watch at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday, Harriet Dart will take on 25th seed Madison Keys. The two played their first and only match at the Melbourne Summer Set 2 earlier this year. Keys won that encounter 6-3 7-6(2). Keys will not take the match lightly, telling Women’s Tennis Blog, “I think she’s a really great player. She’s a really good ball-striker. She moves well. I think this court suits her game fairly well. Luckily I sent my coach out to watch her match today so he can give me a game plan.”