The Pick IW Kudermetova Badosa QF

On Thursday, world No. 7 Paula Badosa will face world No. 24 Veronika Kudermetova in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. Badosa is the defending champion of this event, but she has her work cut out for her against Kudermetova, who is fresh off a remarkable 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 7-5 win over Marketa Vondrousova. More to the point, Kuderetova is 3-0 against Badosa, and has dropped just one set of the seven they've contested.

Nevertheless, Badosa is listed as a -220 favorite to win this match. But given their history, it’s hard to imagine this match not at least going the distance—if not an outright Kudermetova win. With that in mind, we’re suggesting a play on Kudermetova to cover the set spread.


The first of Kudermetova's three triumphs over Badosa took place at this very tournament, with the Russian earning a 6-3, 6-2 win in 2019. She also beat Badosa on clay in Charleston last October, just three days after beating her on hard courts in Abu Dhabi. No matter the surface or time of year, Kudermetova has had Badosa's number.

Badosa is an aggressive baseliner, and she's rode that style to the Top 10. But Kudermetova is similar in the way she hits her groundstrokes, which might be why this has been a match-up that has given Badosa so much trouble. She is just as fearless when ripping shots, and she’s going to be swinging away and trying to match Badosa’s abilities yet again. She'll also have a truckload of confidence to go with it.

One thing to watch for in this match is Kudermetova's play at net. She has good hands up there, and it can be a real advantage for her. Look for that to be an X-factor in her keeping this one tight, which is just where we want it.

The Pick: Kudermetova +1.5 Sets (-150)