Kuznetsova-Pliskova clash highlights Indian Wells women's semifinals

by: Steve Tignor March 17, 2017

Karolina Pliskova and Svetlana Kuznetsova have split their two matches. (AP)

Kristina Mladenovic [28] vs. Elena Vesnina [14]

This, it’s safe to say, isn’t the semifinal that tournament officials were hoping to see, and the players in it may not be familiar to many of the people in the crowd at Indian Wells. But the spots have been properly earned. Vesnina, who is ranked near her career-high at No. 15, is coming off wins over Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams. Mladenovic, who has steadily advanced to No. 26 in the rankings and reached the final in Acapulco last week, knocked off Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki this week. The 30-year-old Russian is 2-0 against the 23-year-old Frenchwoman, but they haven’t played since 2015. While she’s not ranked as high, Mladenovic has made more progress in that time, and as she continues to get her powerful game under control, seems poised to make a leap into the Top 10 before too long. Reaching an Indian Wells final would be a big step in that direction. Winner: Mladenovic


Karolina Pliskova [3] vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova [8]

Like Jack Sock on the men’s side, Pliskova has been a survivor in Indian Wells. She should have lost her opener to Monica Puig, but was given a reprieve by the Puerto Rican. And in the quarters she edged Garbiñe Muguruza in two tiebreakers. Kuznetsova, meanwhile, has quietly cruised through her quarter while dropping just one set. There’s a good chance she’ll drop at least one more in this semi. The No. 3-ranked Czech and the No. 8-ranked Russian have split their two matches: Pliskova won in three sets in Cincinnati last year, and Kuznetsova returned the favor 8-6 in a third-set tiebreaker at the WTA Championships in Singapore. The Serena-less women’s draw, which has been overshadowed this week by the men’s Quarter of Death, could use a rematch that good.  So far this year, Pliskova has talked and played with more ambition and belief; Kuznetsova will present a test of both. Winner: Pliskova




Tennis Channel Plus will have the biggest WTA matches of the day from the BNP Paribas Open!

Tennis Channel Plus will have 12 straight days of WTA Action, including the Quarters, Semis and Finals.

All of the best action — Live and On Demand — on any screen — anywhere — only on Tennis Channel Plus!

Tennis Channel Plus is THE ultimate destination for WTA action in March. Subscribe today at BuyTCPlus.com

More Stories

Three to See, Miami: Can Juan Martin del Potro stop Roger Federer?

Plus, thoughts on Muguruza vs. Wozniacki and Venus vs. Kuznetsova.

Radek Stepanek to be sidelined three months due to back surgery

At 38 years old, the Czech is looking to extend his career as long as possible.

In 1000th match, Nadal rallies from bagel-set loss to advance in Miami

In WTA action, Venus Williams and Angelique Kerber won, while Madison Keys was upset.