All the buzz around a very special day six of the BNP Paribas Open was coming from the battle between sisters Venus and Serena Williams and the hype around the Indian Wells Tennis Garden was justified. Eighth seed Venus came out firing off the ground and on serve, painting the lines with her trademark shots and while younger sister Serena showed flashes of brilliance, it was the older sister’s day as Venus won 6-3, 6-4.
There were encouraging signs for both. Venus displayed some of the powerful and dangerous tennis that has made her a Grand Slam threat for the last 20 years and Serena, playing her first tournament since giving birth to her first child, showed she has the pop on her serve and ability to hit winners too; on the night however the sustained power and consistency was what was lacking.
While two over-30 legends headlined the day in Indian Wells, the rise of the younger players, a theme of this tournament so far, continued as American NextGen star Taylor Fritz continued his brilliant run with a gutsy 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 victory over veteran Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. Fritz, the Southern California kid, used his big serve and forehand to dictate points, something Verdasco would’ve liked to do, but in the key moments it was the 20-year-old who remained poised to win, making the fourth round here in the desert.
It was a thrilling day six in the Coachella Valley and here are three to keep an eye on day seven in Indian Wells.
Match of the day: Amanda Anisimova vs. Karolina Pliskova
Prediction: Pliskova in three sets
Venus looks to keep desert run going against Sevastova
Prediction: Venus in straight sets
Under-the-radar match of the day: Caroline Wozniacki vs. Daria Kasatkina
Prediction: Kasatkina in three sets