Friends, mothers, and rivals: Kerber to battle Wozniacki for spot in Indian Wells quarterfinals

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Old friends and rivals, Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki, will play each other in the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open. The former leads their head-to-head 8-7, but the latter won their lone encounter in Indian Wells, in the 2013 semifinals. The Tuesday match promises to be a nailbiter and will test how far they have come in their return to the sport.

Success here in the desert can give them a massive boost in points and each has lifted the trophy here before. Both recently returned to the tour and are still fighting to restore their places in the rankings, the German entering the tournament at world No.607 and the Dane at No.204. Now in the round of 16, the live ranking has them at No.342 and No.148, respectively. Both held the world number one spot at one point in their careers and are clawing their way closer with every week back on tour.

The German told Women’s Tennis Blog she expects both of them will savor the match more at this stage in their careers than previous encounters when they were younger. While the veterans have not played each other since 2018 in Eastbourne, they practice together frequently and stay in touch daily. The 36-year-old said, “I think we are both looking forward to this match and we are both in the same situation. We will try to play a good match, having a good battle out there. But, you know, we are friends now, and we will be still friends after a match. We will both try to win, but at the end, I think there are more important things than a tennis match.”

The three-time slam winner fought off Veronika Kudermetova 6-4 7-5. A critical game on the lefty’s serve in the second set went to deuce eight times before she finally held for 3-2. She saved seven of 11 breakpoints on her way to the victory.

Wozniacki expressed enthusiasm for the upcoming match against her childhood friend. Following a 6-2 4-6 6-0 victory over fellow wildcard entrant Katie Volynets, the one-time slam champion was bracing herself for another tough encounter: “it’s going to be a great match. We’ve played each other so much. We know each other extremely well. There’s going to be no secrets out there. We both know each other’s game inside out. We know what to do, we know what to expect. It’s really going to be about who is going to be better on the day.”

Since the two do chat every day, Women’s Tennis Blog asked if they might coordinate outfits for the matchup. Both Adidas players sported the same black and white Adidas dress this week. The mother of two said their only options for the tournament were a dress or shirt and skirt combination that appears almost identical on screen. Laughing, she added, “it’s a really cool dress, so I’m going to try and rock it. I know that Angie is going to rock it too.”

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