Date/Time: Saturday 16th March 2019 (Kick-off 2:30 AM CET).
The first of the WTA Semi Finals that have been put together features two players who have been in strong form in 2019 meeting.
The performances being produced by Elina Svitolina won't be a huge surprise considering she has been one of the top players on the WTA Tour for a couple of seasons now. Two Semi Final losses and one Quarter Final defeat would be considered strong returns by most players on the Tour, but for some Svitolina might still be considered an underachiever as she plays in her third Semi Final of 2019 on the hard courts and bids for her first Final of the season.
While any player that can put the wins together to reach the Semi Final has to be respected, Svitolina has not had an easy path through the draw. She has shown considerable resilience in winning three of her four matches in three sets and Svitolina has come from a set down in two of those wins which has to give her real confidence.
However the numbers have been far from dominating and the Svitolina serve has been attacked with some success by opponents. The Ukrainian has allowed at least nine break points in each of her matches so far at Indian Wells and the time she has spent on court in the last two Rounds has to be a concern even with the Thursday break from being on the court.
Now she faces the promising youngster Bianca Andreescu who at 18 years old is making hay on the main Tour in 2019. The Canadian turns 19 later this year, but she has showed plenty of maturity in her wins so far at Indian Wells including a stunning 52 minute win over Garbine Muguruza in the Quarter Final.
Strong performances behind the first serve and a successful return have propelled Andreescu through the draw and it will be hard to stop her if she can maintain the standards set. I do think she can drag Elina Svitolina into another battle and at that point Andreescu is going to go into this match with the superior fitness that can be relied upon down the stretch.
It is a big match for the youngster and that could lead to a tense performance, but she has shown plenty of belief in her own game. As long as Bianca Andreescu can stay in the moment, I think she may have a little more in the tank to beat Elina Svitolina in a tight match and backing her as the underdog is the pick here.
Prediction: Bianca Andreescu to win