- No. 10 seed Angelique Kerber meets No. 21 seed Paula Badosa Thursday in the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals
- It’s the first career meeting between the two players, who are nearly a decade apart in age
- Read on for our analysis and predictions
If it seemed as though 33-year-old Angelique Kerber was going through motions in the first part of the season, she has found a second wind in her career and finds herself in the final eight at Indian Wells.
For Badosa, early prodigy status as a junior French Open champion took years to come to fruition. But she, too, has arrived at the same place.
Paula Badosa vs Angelique Kerber Odds
| Paula Badosa (ESP)||-1.5 (-130)||-150||O 21.5 (-125)|
| Angelique Kerber (GER)||+1.5 (-1010)||+115||U 21.5 (-115)|
Odds as of Oct. 13 at DraftKings
Badosa Upsets Two Favorites en Route
The only set Badosa has dropped in three matches en route to the Indian Wells quarterfinals was in her opening match, against hard-hitting Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska.
She blazed through two much higher-ranked seeds in straight sets after that, including a 6-2, 6-2 victory over teen prodigy Coco Gauff that, more than anything, showed that a long, challenging season has the 17-year-old running on fumes.
But Badosa backed it up against the world No. 5 Barbora Krejcikova. The Spaniard also beat Krejcikova this spring in Madrid, on clay. Not long after, Krejcikova went on a clay-court run that ended with a title at the French Open.
Seeds 2, 3 and 4 OUT in Indian Wells 😞
Executioners are called Ostapenko, Badosa and Pegula pic.twitter.com/JPFt6yNFpl
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) October 13, 2021
Badosa had had her share of drama in 2021 – notably, she began the season with a late COVID diagnosis, days after someone tested positive on her flight to Melbourne. The resulting medi-hotel isolation was not ideal preparation.
Then, in the summer, she parted ways with the coach who helped her finally break through to the top of the game.
But she just keeps chugging along.
BNP Paribas Open Women’s Singles Odds – Final Eight
|||Anett Kontaveit (EST)||+400|
|||Jessica Pegula (USA)||+450|
|||Paula Badosa (ESP)||+500|
|||Ons Jabeur (TUN)||+500|
|||Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)||+550|
|||Victoria Azarenka (BLR)||+600|
|||Angelique Kerber (GER)||+700|
|–||Shelby Rogers (USA)||+1200|
The Resurgent Angelique Kerber
Even as Badosa was eliminating high seeds, Kerber was struggling through a couple of three-setters against Katerina Siniakova and No. 20 seed Daria Kasatkina.
But by the time she got to the fourth round, a big obstacle had been removed from her path.
Garbiñe Muguruza had beaten Kerber the last five times they had met, going back to 2015. But Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic had taken care of Muguruza in the previous round.
And Kerber had little trouble in a 6-4, 6-1 over Tomljanovic Tuesday. She feasted on her second serve, and saved 4-of-5 break points she faced on her own serve.
Paula Badosa vs Angelique Kerber Head-to-Head
|23 (Nov. 15, 1997)||Age||33 (Jan. 17, 1988)|
|New York, NY||Birthplace||Bremen, Germany|
|1||Career WTA Singles Titles||13|
|0||Career Grand Slam Titles||3|
|No. 26 (Aug. 20, 2021)||Career High Ranking||No. 1 (Sept. 11, 2016)|
|No. 27||Current Ranking||No. 15|
|$1,955,790||Career Prize Money||$31,152,924|
|38-15||2021 Won/Loss record||29-14|
|0||Career Head to Head||0|
First Meeting Between Badosa and Kerber
As experienced as Kerber is, facing an opponent with heavy groundstrokes and a big serve isn’t anything she hasn’t handled hundreds of times before.
The grittiness of the court, and the fact that the balls fluff up quickly (and fly), are more of a disadvantage to a player like the Spaniard, who takes bigger cuts and bigger risks.
This is Kerber’s 12th trip to the desert. And she has had numerous good results there – none as good as during the last edition in 2019, when she made the final.
She defeated Aryna Sabalenka, Venus Williams and Belinda Bencic, among others, before falling in three sets to the juggernaut that was Bianca Andreescu in that tournament.
There’s not much she can add in terms of her ranking – unless she wins the tournament. If she does that, she’ll be back in the top 10 next week. It would be the first time since July 2019 that she’d be there. And she’d be virtually assured of qualifying for the year-end finals. Given she spent much of the last two seasons outside the top 20, it would be quite the comeback.
Those goals also are within reach for Badosa. So they have a lot on the line.
Whether power or experience prevails, it feels like a three-setter.
Best Bet: Kerber to lose the first, but come back to win in three sets (+650)