The quarter finals begin at the ATP Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open on Thursday when the two matches in the top half of the draw are played out on a day where we might be set for a Spanish domination in the desert.
Every match in the men’s draw is on the main court from here on in which means that the profile of the event will go up a notch. With two natural entertainers and the defending champion on show the schedule looks great.
Rafael Nadal vs Nick Kyrgios
The pick of the two quarter finals comes in the day session when the Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal will look to maintain his undefeated start to 2022 when he takes on the box office Australian star Nick Kyrgios in a popcorn showdown.
Generally when these two meet they are excellent matches with both bringing out the best in each other and as neutrals watching on we hope that is the case here as well. Kyrgios has three wins over Nadal to the five defeats but the important thing is he knows he can beat the Spanish superstar and he will certainly come into the match nice and fresh after Jannik Sinner pulled out of their last 16 clash. That might be important too because although Nadal wasn’t pushed overly hard by Reilly Opelka on Wednesday, he has made note of the pain he is in with his foot so if Kyrgios can keep Nadal out there he might find a chink in the armour to exploit. This one looks a cracking showdown but given the injury to Nadal I think it is one to watch rather than bet on.
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Carlos Alcaraz vs Cameron Norrie
The second quarter final comes along in the night session when the Next Gen Finals winner Carlos Alcaraz looks to continue his rise to the top of the game when he takes on the defending champion Cameron Norrie who has put up a staunch defence of his title, one which he hopes will remain in his ownership for the semi-finals on Saturday.
Alcaraz is in a rich vein of form at the minute. He won the title down in Rio last month and has powered through the draw here so far. He hasn’t lost a set this week and only one of the six sets he has played has gone beyond nine games. That is the size of the task ahead of Norrie here, although he will know all too well how tough it will be as Alcaraz thrashed him 3-0 at the US Open last season. Norrie has battled hard this week like we would expect him to do but opponents have made errors against him and I’m not convinced Alcaraz will do that in the form he is currently in. I see this going one of two ways. Either Alcaraz blitzes Norrie and wins in straight sets or Norrie somehow gets the youngster into a battle and comes out the other side. I think the former is more likely.
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