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Indian Wells Women's Quarter-Finals preview: Swiatek and Sabalenka primed to make final four

Iga Swiatek is the one everyone has their eyes on in the WTA Indian Wells this year but as the quarter-finals loom, there are a handful of other dangers in the women's draw in California.

Also in action in the last eight are Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, 2022 runner-up Maria Sakkari and last year's Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina.

Sabalenka should get the better of home talent Gauff

WhatCoco Gauff vs Aryna Sabalenka
WhereIndian Wells Tennis Garden
When20:00, Wednesday 15th March 2023
How to watchSports Live Streaming and Amazon Prime
OddsCoco Gauff 13/10, Aryna Sabalenka 8/13

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka had to dig deep to beat Barbora Krejcikova 6-3 2-6 6-4 in the last round at the WTA Indian Wells but her game continues to improve and she looks a great selection at 8/13 to defeat Coco Gauff.

Gauff, who recently turned 19, will have a roaring home crowd behind her in California but was run close by Swede Rebecca Peterson in her last game and Sabalenka represents a step-up in quality.

Sabalenka won her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year and followed that with a run to the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Generally, though, she has been resting herself since that Grand Slam triumph and it has so far paid dividends in Indian Wells, where she has dropped just the one set in the first three rounds.

Sakkari could be vulnerable against Kvitova

WhatMaria Sakkari vs Petra Kvitova
WhereIndian Wells Tennis Garden
When01:00, Thursday 16th March 2023
How to watchSports Live Streaming and Amazon Prime
OddsMaria Sakkari 8/15, Petra Kvitova 6/4

Greek ace Maria Sakkari was runner-up to Iga Swiatek at last year's WTA Indian Wells and has made terrific progress in California once again this season.

On her way to the quarter-finals this year, Sakkari has seen off Shelby Rogers, Anhelina Kalinina and Karolina Pliskova but it is worth noting she dropped sets in each of those contests and she lost her only match at the Dubai Tennis Championships last month.

As for veteran Petra Kvitova, she claimed a big scalp in Indian Wells in the last round, taking down third seed Jessica Pegula in three sets.

Kvitova also saw off experienced Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in the round before and at 6/4, she could represent value to pull off another surprise triumph.

Super Swiatek can cruise past Cirstea

WhatIga Swiatek vs Sorana Cirstea
WhereIndian Wells Tennis Garden
When18:00, Thursday 16th March 2023
How to watchAmazon Prime
OddsIga Swiatek 1/12, Sorana Cirstea 7/1

The WTA Indian Wells really did prove to be the catalyst for Swiatek's extraordinary season last year as she went on to secure the Sunshine Double with the Miami Open title and then came out on top at the Stuttgart Open, Italian Open and French Open.

And she looks similarly authoritative on the California courts this season, having eased past Claire Liu, Bianca Andreescu and Emma Raducanu in the first three rounds, conceding only 14 games in the process.

Her 6-3 6-1 undoing of Raducanu last time out was particularly ruthless and the WTA Indian Wells defending champion should have no issues against Sorana Cirstea, who edged Caroline Garcia last time out but is far below Swiatek's level.

Back Swiatek at -6.5 on the games handicap at 1/1.

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Expect Rybakina to show her class again

WhatKarolina Muchova vs Elena Rybakina
WhereIndian Wells Tennis Garden
When18:00, Thursday 16th March 2023
How to watchAmazon Prime
OddsKarolina Muchova 2/1, Elena Rybakina 2/5

Elena Rybakina continues to go under the radar a little on the WTA tour but she can be a force to be reckoned with and it is easy to see why she is 2/5 to get the better of Karolina Muchova.

Rybakina won Wimbledon last year but ranking points were not awarded at the event, so she did not get the recognition she deserved.

But she came back fighting, cutting a calm figure as ever, and made the final of the Australian Open at the start of the year, losing out to Sabalenka.

And she has again been quietly going about her business at the WTA Indian Wells, winning all three of her matches 2-0 and defeating big names Sofia Kenin and Paula Badosa on the way.

The tenth seed looks in great nick and is a value bet at 11/10 to win 2-0 against Karolina Muchova, who has conceded 51 games in her four matches at the WTA Indian Wells. 

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