The second round of the BNP Paribas Open at the ATP Indian Wells event begins on Saturday which means that for the first time this week we will see some of the seeded players taking to the courts out in the desert.
That is sure to guarantee that the standard of proceedings is going to go up a notch as those who harbour hopes of going deep in the opening Masters 1000 event of the season have the chance to showcase their credentials.
The action begins on Stadium 1 with two men’s matches with the number one seed Daniil Medvedev opening up the show when he takes on the rising Czech player Tomas Machac. When they are done the Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal begins his desert quest when he goes up against the American unseeded player Sebastian Korda. There is also an American on show in the one night session match involving the men as the wildcard Jack Sock takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas who will be looking to go deep in the desert.
There are just the two men’s matches on the second court on Saturday and the first of them doesn’t come along until a couple of women’s games have been played out. When we do get the men onto court it will be the entertaining Denis Shapovalov who will look to make progress. He will take on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina before the night session sees Nick Kyrgios back at the party. He takes on the lowest of the original seeds in the form of Federico Delbonis.
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There are three more men’s matches on Stadium 3 on Saturday and they form the opening three matches on the schedule. It is the new kid on the block Carlos Alcaraz meets another American player who is on show in Mackenzie McDonald before the highest ranked home player Reilly Opelka gets his campaign underway. He’ll start against Lorenzo Musetti with the last men’s match in this part of the grounds seeing the American qualifier Christopher Eubanks taking on the eighth seed Casper Ruud.
Best of the Rest
There are a number of other men’s matches around the grounds which means that there are plenty more seeds on show. It hasn’t gone down too well that the defending champion Cameron Norriw will begin his title defence out on Stadium 5 but British fans won’t mind that as it is where Dan Evans will be in action too. Over on Stadium 4 the likes of Jannik Sinner and Karen Khachanov will grace the court while Roberto Bautista Agut, Gael Monfils, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Fabio Fognini are some of the other names on show.
After a couple of wins in the opening round I’ll take one for Saturday as we assess the runners and riders in the tournament still. The bet comes in the match I’m most looking forward to which sees Karen Khachanov, who might be given a bit of a tough time from the crowd given that he is a Russian, taking on the home favourite Jenson Brooksby in what is likely to be a packed house over on Stadium 4 by the time this match comes around.
Both these men are great to watch because they seemingly not only relentlessly get stuck into battles they probably shouldn’t but also they seem to love the long matches and it isn’t going to take a huge amount for this to turn into another physical marathon when you consider the slow conditions that this match will be played in. Brooksby fights for every ball while Khachanov doesn’t take a backward step either. This one looks destined to have more than 22.5 games.
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