This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
The BNP Paribas Open women’s and men’s singles championship matches will both be played Sunday from the hard courts of Indian Wells, California. A pair of offensive-minded WTA stars will face off in a rematch of the Australian Open final, followed by the first hard-court encounter between two of the world’s best players on the surface, which has a chance to culminate in a new No. 1 in the ATP rankings. All Tennis Odds & Lines are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, but you can sometimes find more favorable odds on some of these matches by checking mobile sportsbooks such as FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, or any of the other best sports betting sites. We offer exclusive sign-up bonuses for some of those sportsbooks, as well as specific bonuses for users located in Massachusetts, where online sports betting has officially gone live.
All men’s and women’s matches at the BNP Paribas Open are best of three sets, which differs from Grand Slam play for the men. A mix of players’ previous hard court results, form thus far at Indian Wells and stylistic matchups can help pinpoint intriguing betting opportunities in both finals.
Aryna Sabalenka (-160) vs. Elena Rybakina (+130)
This is deja vu from the Australian Open in January, as Rybakina has once again between Iga Swiatek in straight sets en route to a hard-court final against Sabalenka. The final in Melbourne went to Sabalenka, as she notched her first Grand Slam title to equal Rybakina’s total. Sabalenka improved to 4-0 in her career against Rybakina, but all four of those meetings have gone three sets.
While last year’s double fault-prone version of Sabalenka would have trouble matching holds with the big-serving Rybakina, the serve has returned to being a massive strength for the second-ranked Belarusian, helping Sabalenka begin the year with a 17-1 record. Rybakina hasn’t been too shabby herself at 15-4, and her 6-2, 6-2 semifinal win over Swiatek on Friday was arguably Rybakina’s best performance of 2023. Both Sabalenka and Rybakina have proven more than capable of effectively playing their respective brands of first-strike tennis on the slow Indian Wells hard courts, so each of them will look to get on the front foot in rallies early and often.
Indian Wells Prediction: Sabalenka def. Rybakina 4-6, 7-6, 6-2
Carlos Alcaraz (-110) vs. Daniil Medvedev (-110)
This will be just the second meeting between these two great players, and the first on hard courts. Medvedev easily won their only previous encounter at Wimbledon in 2021, but he’ll face a far more advanced Alcaraz here. The 19-year-old Spaniard has mowed down the competition at this tournament without dropping a set, and Alcaraz would reclaim the world No. 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic with a win Sunday. While Medvedev hasn’t been quite as dominant over the past week, he has now won 19 matches in a row, showing the hard court bonafides that helped him take home the 2021 US Open title. Alcaraz’s lone Grand Slam title up to this point came at the US Open the following year.
Both of these players have demonstrated that their respective game styles can thrive at Indian Wells, which has some of the slowest hard courts of any venue on tour. Expect some lengthy exchanges in this one as these players show off their ball retrieval ability. While both guys can rely on big first serves to win cheap points when they need them, Alcaraz undoubtedly has the edge in power off the ground, but he’ll need to figure out how to adjust to Medvedev’s unusually low and flat strokes, which are hard to replicate in practice and have confounded most of the ATP Tour over the past few years.
Indian Wells Prediction: Alcaraz def. Medvedev 7-6, 7-5
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