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Indian Wells Day 5 Preview

Former finalist Marion Bartoli takes on Svetlana Kuznetsova in a tricky third round encounter at the BNP Paribas Open.

Published March 09, 2013 11:59

Indian Wells Day 5 Preview
Marion Bartoli

INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - The third round of the BNP Paribas Open gets underway on Sunday, with several of the pre-tournament favorites in action, including Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova.

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Sunday, Third Round

Stadium 1
[9] Marion Bartoli (FRA #11) vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS #46)
Kuznetsova leads 3-2
Since returning from injury at the start of the year, Svetlana Kuznetsova has not taken long to get back in the swing of things. Her two wins in Indian Wells - over Andrea Hlavackova and Jelena Jankovic - took her total for the season to 16, with four of these coming against members of the Top 20.

The most recent of these victims was Marion Bartoli, who lost to Kuznetsova in two tight sets a few weeks ago in Doha. On Sunday evening, the Frenchwoman gets an immediate opportunity to exact revenge, and, judging by her recent track record at the 'fifth major', she is more than capable of doing so; Bartoli has won nine of her past 11 matches here and finished runner-up in 2011.

Stadium 2
[3] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #4) vs. [27] Sorana Cirstea (ROU #29)
Radwanska leads 3-2
Despite posting some fairly formidable statistics this season, Agnieszka Radwanska has come into the tournament somewhat under the radar. The uber-consistent Pole already has two titles and 18 wins to her name, and judging the latest of these - a ruthless straight set dismissal of Maria Sanchez on Friday - she is in the mood to add to both of these tallies over the coming week.

After suffering early exits on her four previous visits to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Cirstea will be equally keen to progress, and, as their head-to-head record suggests, her high-risk game has the ability to disrupt Radwanska's rhythm from the baseline. However, the last of these wins came nearly four years ago, and the huge strides made by Radwanska since, ensure she starts as a healthy favorite.

Stadium 3
[5] Petra Kvitova (CZE #7) vs. [Q] Lesia Tsurenko (UKR #74)
first meeting
Since turning professional back in 2007, Lesia Tsurenko's progress up the tennis latter has been steady, rather than spectacular. After serving her apprenticeship on the ITF Circuit, the Ukrainian finally broke through to the big time in January when, as a lucky loser, she made it all the way through to the semifinals of the Premier event in Brisbane. And this was no flash in the pan; Tsurenko gave a good account of herself at the Australian Open and this week has already knocked out No.31 seed Yaroslava Shvedova.

Her reward for this is a meeting with a resurgent Petra Kvitova. Since her disappointing showings in Australia, Kvitova has turned her season around in impressive fashion, taking the title in Dubai and winning 10 of her last 11 matches. Nevertheless, the Czech has shown the odd sign of fallibility, and her struggles with Olga Govortsova in the last round will have offered some scraps of encouragement to Tsurenko.

Also on court...
Former champion Maria Sharapova meets the gifted but unpredictable Carla Suárez Navarro, while fellow seeds Sara Errani, Dominika Cibulkova and Maria Kirilenko are also in action.

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