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Venus Williams v Anastasija Sevastova WTA Indian Wells predictions, betting tips & live stream: Venus to book quarter-final berth

Andrew Hendrie 13 Mar 2018
  • Venus Williams vs Anastasija Sevastova is live from Indian Wells around 3.30pm local time on Tuesday (10.30pm GMT)
  • Williams won their only previous meeting in straight sets in 2016
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Indian Wells at Unibet > live streaming > tennis
Venus Williams (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Fresh from a blockbuster win over her younger sister, Venus Williams targets the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals when she takes on 21st seed Anastasija Sevastova in Indian Wells on Tuesday.

Watch and bet on Williams vs Sevastova live from Indian Wells at Unibet > live streaming > tennis. Their R16 clash begins around 3.30pm local time on Tuesday (10.30pm GMT).

The last and only time Venus Williams played Anastasija Sevastova, she ended up winning the tournament - is that a good omen for the 37-year-old in Indian Wells? Williams hasn’t won a title of any description since beating Sevastova en route to the relatively weak WTA International crown in Kaohsiung, but the American has been playing at an incredibly high level over the last two years that surely she has got to capture at least one more before hanging up the racquet (whenever that may be). Williams continues to demonstrate she’s still one of the leading women on tour just three months shy of her 38th birthday - can she get past Sevastova, the extremely solid Latvian who has settled nicely into the top 20 over the last 12 months? Williams and Sevastova take to court around 3.30pm local time on Tuesday (10.30pm GMT).

I think it’s fair to say Monday’s third round showdown between Venus and Serena Williams was one of the biggest tennis matches in recent history. The two legendary sisters squaring off for the 29th times in their careers at a tournament they both boycotted for 14 years from 2001 due to being the subject of alleged racial taunting, with the pair now playing on into their late 30s with Serena competing in her first professional WTA event since giving birth to her first child last summer.

Given the circumstances, the match was played at a very high level. After the first three games lasted 16 minutes and all went do deuce, Venus began to gain the upper hand, with her forehand especially venomous from the baseline. Venus went on a mid-match surge to take the opener 6-3 and open up a double break at 5-2 in the second, but Serena - arguably the greatest competitor in all of sports - refused to throw in the towel, saving a match point with some sublime defence and then making it back to 5-4 with a magical backhand winner up the line to hold the subsequent game. However Venus was able to steady the ship and ultimately close out her first straight sets win over her sister since 2008, coming away with a 6-3 6-4 victory in front of a packed Stadium 1 crowd.

“[Serena’s] level is super high and it was very difficult to close out the match, just getting one ball back,” Venus said after the match.
“I think just I have played more matches in the last year. Even though I haven't even played that much this year, the matches in the last year count.”

The tournaments that Venus did play in 2017, she almost exclusively went deep. The seven-time Grand Slam champion made two more major finals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon ((losing to Serena and Garbine Muguruza respectively), along with the season-ending WTA Finals Singapore, where she went down to Caroline Wozniacki. Williams also reached the semi-finals of the U.S. Open and Miami Open and the quarter-finals of Rome. It’s remarkably consistency for the veteran, especially in the unpredictable and wide-open WTA field that is littered with perhaps unprecedented levels of depth.

But, can Williams translate all her great tennis from the last two years into a title? Her next challenge in the desert comes in the form of 21st seed Anastasija Sevastova.

Anastasija Sevastova (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Speaking of comebacks earlier, Sevastova made her own special return to the tour a few years ago after retiring in her early twenties in 2013 as she grew tired of suffering constant injuries and the gruelling weekly grind of travelling the world and competing. However, Sevastova decided to make a comeback in 2015, and by the end of that season she was almost back in the top 100 after starting the year unranked.

Sevastova made two WTA International finals in Mallorca and Bucharest and the quarter-finals of the US Open (beating Garbine Muguruza and Johanna Konta) in 2016 to end that year at 31 in the world, while she backed that up with a superb 2017 campaign repeated her run to the US Open quarter-finals, going one step further in Mallorca as she won her second WTA career title, along with making the semi-finals of big tournaments in Dubai, Madrid and Zhuhai. 

It’s been another solid start to 2018 for Sevastova, with the 27-year-old starting the season with a semi-final finish at the Brisbane International, but she would have been disappointed with a first round exit in Sydney to Dominika Cibulkova and second round departure from the Australian Open, where she had the misfortune of running into Maria Sharapova. Sevastova went on to make the Round of 16 in Doha, losing to Simona Halep, while she lost a tight match to Ekaterina Makarova before making the fourth round here in Indian Wells with some great wins over Monica Puig and the in-form Julia Goerges.

As mentioned earlier, the pair have played once before, with Williams winning 7-5 6-2 en route to the title in Kaohsiung in 2016. Sevastova has proven she has the ability to beat the best players in the world in the past, with her remarkably solid baseline game a nightmare for big-hitting players if they are having an off day. Williams however would have gained a lot of confidence from beating Serena, and some of the tennis she displayed was easily her best of 2018 so far. I think Williams is building nicely in Indian Wells - Sevastova will probably be solid enough to force some tight sets and perhaps snatch one, but ultimately I’m going with Williams to make the quarter-finals.

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Venus Williams v Anastasija Sevastova WTA Indian Wells predictions, betting tips & live stream: Venus to book quarter-final berth

Fresh from a blockbuster win over her younger sister, Venus Williams targets the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals when she takes on 21st seed Anastasija Sevastova in Indian Wells on Tuesday.

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