On Wednesday, world No. 61 Beatriz Haddad Maia faces world No. 130 Sofia Kenin in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. Wait—No. 130, for a recent Grand Slam champion? Yes, and Kenin is by far the bigger name in this match-up.
But while many fans will insist this is still Kenin’s match to lose, let's not rush to judgment.
Kenin comes into this tournament on a five-match losing streak, winning just one set in that desultory stretch. (That set came against world No. 64 Ann Li, a player Kenin really should beat on hard courts.) The American is now just 2-5 in the 2022 season, while Haddad Maia is 8-5. The Brazilian is also fresh off of a run to the semifinals in Monterrey, where she lost to Leylah Fernandez.