Shelby Rogers made it to the quarterfinals of this tournament last year.

World No. 49 Shelby Rogers is coming off an impressive victory over red-hot world No. 12 Jelena Ostapenko at the BNP Paribas Open, 7-5, 7-6 (9). For her efforts, the American veteran—who won a third-set tiebreaker in the first round—will look to defeat the talented Canadian teen Leylah Fernandez. Fernandez, the No. 18 seed at Indian Wells, advanced after leveling her opening-round match with Amanda Anisimova at one set all.

As comps go, you can't do much better than Rogers and Fernandez's last meeting: in the round of 16 of this very tournament, last year. In a battle, Rogers prevailed with an exciting 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4) victory. Rogers also won their only other tour collision, at the 2020 Lexington event, 6-2, 7-5. While Fernandez's star is on the rise, this match still seems like another one that Rogers should ultimately win.

While Fernandez is a smaller player, she packs a big punch with her forehand. That shot is a legitimate weapon, and it’s one she has used to overpower some bigger opponents—on top of Fernandez being a great defender and having a methodical approach to her matches. The only problem here is that it’s hard to envision her overpowering Rogers, especially when the 29-year-old is in this kind of form. She was moving really well in her victory over Ostapenko, so her fitness is not something that should be much of a concern against Fernandez, even though she's had more mileage on her so far in Indian Wells.




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Rogers showed a ton of aggression when attacking Ostapenko’s serve, which was really giving her an advantage early in points. That same mentality should do her some good against Fernandez, especially on the Canadian’s second serve. Rogers is going to look to punish that shot, which will put even more pressure on Fernandez to get her first serves in.

Rogers is also capable of winning matches with her serve, but you never know what you’re going to get when the ball is on her racquet. She was not consistently making first serves against Ostapenko, as her first-serve percentage was down at 39%. If she can get that number up to around 55% or higher, this should be a straightforward win for the American. But even if it is lower, she should still be able to come away with a win. It might take a deciding set, but we trust her to pull through in the end.

The Pick: Rogers To Win (+110)