The second day of the BNP Paribas Open at the ATP Indian Wells tournament sees the first round of the tournament drawing to a close as we get set for the seeded players to come along in the opening Masters 1000 over the weekend.
We do still have to wait for that to happen though but some pretty big names take to the courts on Friday looking to set up a showdown with one of those seeded players on what should be a competitive day of tennis on Friday.
The action on the main Stadium 1 court begins and ends with men’s matches. The starter of the day sees Andy Murray taking to the centre stage once again when he meets Taro Daniel, the man who ruthlessly dumped him out of the Australian Open earlier in the season, with Murray having got his revenge in Dubai since then. The second match concludes the night session and it sees one of the home hopefuls Brandon Nakashima taking on the veteran Adrian Mannarino.
There is a real lack of action from the men’s draw on both the main courts on Friday, so much so that on Stadium 2 we will be treated to just the one match. That comes after a match from the women’s draw and then a doubles match when another home player Tommy Paul will take on the qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin which might be a bit of a touch for Paul because until the withdrawal of Novak Djokovic after the draw was made he was due to meet Grigor Dimitrov which was a much tougher assignment.
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The ATP action comes along a lot more regularly over on Stadium 3, although we have to wait until a women’s match has concluded before we get to see any of it. When we do the German player Dominik Koepfer meets the enigmatic Benoit Paire. The action pauses for a doubles contest before an evening and a night match on this court. The evening game sees Steve Johnson taking on Daniel Altmaier and then once that is done the American wildcard Sam Querrey will take to the stage. His opponent will be the Dutch player Tallon Griekspoor.
Best of the Rest
With the shortage of action on the main courts there is a lot of men’s matches around the grounds and some of them include players who will be looking to revoke former glories such as Richard Gasquet and David Goffin, the latter who it is good to see after a number of injury problems have dogged him over time. Young stars are also on show including Ugo Humbert, Holger Rune and Botic van de Zandschulp. They are all on court five while Liam Broady, Miomir Kecmanovic and Jan-Lennard Struff are others on show.
I’ll go with the one bet over the course of these matches and that comes in the form of the Danish player Holger Rune who I think can use the momentum he has built up from qualifying to see off a Ugo Humbert whose form has just completely disappeared. The French ace has suffered Covid and we’ve seen right throughout sport that some athletes take longer than others to recover and get back to full speed from that but the Halle champion has just one win in his last 11 matches and must be on the floor from a confidence point of view.
I’m not convinced the slower conditions will bring out the best in his game anyway so I think he needs to be taken on and while Rune is still relatively inexperienced at this level, he has shown enough to suggest he can live with the big guns on the big stages. Here he has neither of those to cope with and while his 2022 hasn’t exactly been inspiring, he has clearly found something this week, whether that is within his game or a liking to conditions, to come through qualifying. That confidence and momentum can give him the edge here.
Back H.Rune to beat U.Humbert for a 3/10 stake at 1.95 with William Hill
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