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Bertens vs Linette WTA Indian Wells live streaming, preview and tips - Bertens aims to reach BNP Paribas Open third round

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 8 Mar 2019
  • Kiki Bertens vs Magda Linette is live from Indian Wells around 5.00pm local time on Friday (1.00am GMT)
  • First tour-level meeting between the pair
Kiki Bertens (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Seventh seed Kiki Bertens launches her BNP Paribas Open campaign on Friday in a first tour-level meeting with Poland’s Magda Linette in the Indian Wells second round.

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St. Petersburg champion and World No. 7 Kiki Bertens attempts to make the third round of Indian Wells for just the second time on Friday when she squares off against Magda Linette.

Bertens hasn’t had much to cheer about in her five previous visits to the Californian desert, losing in the second round in 2013 and 2018, losing in the opening round in 2015 and failing to qualify in 2016, with her lone third round appearance coming in 2016 when she had a bye in the first round and beat Belinda Bencic in the second. Although, Bertens is a much better player these days and perhaps could have gone deeper last year had she not had the misfortune of facing a returning Serena Williams in her opening match.

Bertens once again shone on clay last year, winning the title in Charleston and finishing runner-up at the Premier Mandatory Mutua Madrid Open, but it was her improvement on hardcourts and grass that ultimately propelled her into the upper echelons of the rankings. The 27-year-old beat Karolina Pliskova and Venus Williams to make the quarter-finals of Wimbledon and continued her fine form into the North American summer on hardcourt, defeating Petra Kvitova and Pliskova to make the quarter-finals of Montreal before taking out Kvitova, Carolin Wozniacki and Elina Svitolina to advance into the Western & Southern Open final in Cincinnati, where she captured the biggest title of her career with a superb comeback win over World No. 1 Simona Halep.

The Dutchwoman went on to capture the hardcourt title in Seoul and qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals Singapore for the first time, toppling Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka to reach the semi-finals, where she was edged by eventual champion Elina Svitolina in three sets. With most of her success coming in the last half of 2018, it is important that Bertens accumulate some ranking points over the first half of 2019 to ease some of the pressure - and she’s already done that, making the semi-finals of Sydney and winning her eighth career title on the indoor hardcourts of St. Petersburg, once again showcasing her new-found surface versatility, beating Aryna Sabalenka in the semis and Donna Vekic in the final.

Bertens didn’t have the best Middle Eastern swing, losing in the quarter-finals of Doha to eventual champion Elise Mertens and falling in her first match in Dubai to Viktoria Kuzmova after having match points. Can she get back on track in Indian Wells over the next week?

Magda Linette (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Magda Linette is her first opponent on Friday. Linette first broke into the top 100 during the 2015 season, the same year she reached her one and only tour-level final at the Japan Women’s Open. Linette has largely fluctuated between the 60-100 mark ever since, with her game too good for the ITF circuit but not flashy or big enough to enter the upper tier of women’s tennis, with the Pole’s best ranking of No. 55 coming at the start of the 2018 season when she reached the third round of the Australian Open - beating No. 22 seed Daria Kasatkina - while she also made the quarter-finals of Taipei City later in January, falling to eventual champion Timea Babos.


Linette finished inside the top 100 for the fourth consecutive season in 2018 as she finished runner-up in Bol, made the semi-finals in Nanchang and quarter-finals in Bogota, Washington D.C. and Hiroshima, while she comes into Indian Wells at No. 92 in the world after making the semi-finals of Hua Hin, losing to eventual champion Dayana Yastremska. Linette, who had only ever won one main draw match in Indian Wells before this week, advanced to the second round with a thrilling win over Petra Martic, prevailing in a deciding set tiebreaker.

The pair have never played before at tour-level, with Bertens winning their only previous clash all the way back in 2010 at an ITF event on clay. Linette is a steady player and is consistent enough to frustrate big-hitters if they’re having an off day, but she does lack a big weapon to really take control of matches like these. Bertens will be the aggressor and has the match on her racquet, and after taking her game to another level over the next 12 months, should be able to win this one.


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Bertens vs Linette WTA Indian Wells live streaming, preview and tips - Bertens aims to reach BNP Paribas Open third round

Seventh seed Kiki Bertens launches her BNP Paribas Open campaign on Friday in a first tour-level meeting with Poland’s Magda Linette in the Indian Wells second round.

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