WTP Indian Wells 2023 predictions: Kind draw for defending champion
- World number one Iga Swiatek is the defending champion and has a generous draw
- In-form Aryna Sabalenka and Barbora Krejcíkova among those drawn in other half
- Recommended bets:
- Back Iga Swiatek to win
- Back Jessica Pegula each-way
Women’s world number one Iga Swiatek is the defending champion at Indian Wells and the Polish superstar is the 6/4 favourite with LiveScore Bet to repeat the trick in California.
Swiatek brushed aside Maria Sakkari 6-4 6-1 in last season’s final and she has already made a strong start to the year, winning silverware in Qatar before finishing runner-up to Barbora Krejcíkova at the Dubai Tennis Championships most recently.
Not only will the slow-playing conditions play to the strengths of Swiatek, but the top seed has landed a touch as many of her chief title rivals have been housed away from her in the bottom half of the draw.
Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, American powerhouses Jessica Pegula and Cori Gauff, Swiatek’s recent conqueror Krejcikova and Belinda Bencic will all be competing for a place in the final.
Swiatek’s claims are crystal clear
Not only did Swiatek claim this prize last year, but the Pole appears to have been dealt a gilt-edged opportunity to follow up with her draw.
Most of this season’s in-form players have landed in an ultra-competitive bottom half, while a lot of Swiatek’s top-half rivals have their well-being to prove.
Fourth seed Ons Jabeur has just come back from a minor surgery so may need some time while former US Open winners Bianca Andreescu and Emma Raducanu, who are in the world number one’s section, continue to flatter to deceive.
With fifth seed Caroline Garcia also hit-and-miss, Swiatek may only have to see off the challenge of Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia in order to reach the semi-finals.
Swiatek is the one to beat and customers may still be tempted by her odds of 6/4 with LiveScore Bet — she has been backed from 5-2 — especially when considering how untouchable she has been in recent seasons when bringing her A-game to the table.
The 21-year-old has won two of the last four Grand Slam competitions while, last season, she won four of the six WTA 1000 events, not only winning here but also triumphing in Dubai, Miami and at the Italian Open.
Bottom half looks wide open
After Swiatek, five of the next six in the betting find themselves housed in the bottom half of the draw, which goes some way to highlighting the difficulty customers are faced with.
Following her victory in Dubai, in which she overcame the world's top three in Swiatek, Sabalenka and Pegula, as well defeating world number eight Daria Kasatkina and world number 12 Petra Kvitova, Krejcikova merits plenty of respect at 11/1 with LiveScore Bet.
She would be on course for a rematch with Australian Open heroine Sabalenka in the fourth round, while Gauff or Bencic could be lurking in the quarter-finals.
The Czech star should revel in these conditions but perhaps the early draw has been a touch kinder to third seed Pegula, who in theory should have few concerns before a fourth-round clash with Jelena Ostpenko or Kvitova.
Pegula may be able to exert less energy than Krejcikova in the early stages of the tournament, making the American a better proposition at 10/1 with LiveScore Bet.
The 29-year-old is without doubt one of the most consistent players on the WTA Tour, having made the quarter-finals in four of the last five Grand Slam events, so she definitely thrives on the big occasion and this is an event everyone will want to win.