Day 1 of the ATP Indian Wells Masters features 32 first round matches. We’ll see up-and-coming stars, former top players, and everyone in between. As always, we here at LWOT will share our thoughts on the matches. Who do you think will win in the California desert on Thursday? We look at four matches in this article, and the day’s 12 other matches split between three other articles. One features J.J. Wolf vs Vasek Pospisil, the second headlines Kei Nishikori vs Joao Sousa, and the third features Frances Tiafoe vs Benoit Paire.
ATP Indian Wells Day 1 Predictions
Alexei Popyrin vs Miomir Kecmanovic
Popyrin had the start of a breakout early in the year, though it stalled a little after the switch to clay and grass courts. He hasn’t quite had the success on the late-season hard courts as he did earlier. Kecmanovic, meanwhile, is talented but inconsistent, and he has the propensity to go off the rails at times. The Serbian could definitely win this if he plays well, but that’s hard to count on.
Prediction: Popyrin in 2
Maxime Cressy vs Laslo Djere
Before this year’s US Open, very few fans had heard of Maxime Cressy. That’s a shame, because he is an exciting player and awesome to watch. The American made huge strides at the year’s final Major, though, and now plenty know who he is. This match is simple. It’s all on Cressy’s racket. If he can make more huge serves and volleys than he misses, he’ll win. Otherwise, Djere will.
Prediction: Cressy in 3
Renzo Olivo vs Roberto Carballes Baena
Olivo did well to come through qualifying here. He’s unfortunately coming up against a better player. On a faster hard court I’d doubt Carballes Baena. But Indian Wells plays somewhat slowly and with a high bounce, so the Spaniard should be fine against relatively weaker competition.
Prediction: Carballes Baena in 2
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina vs Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson is a solid player who likes hard courts. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, meanwhile, is a rising star who is finally finding success on hard courts in addition to clay. He’s coming off a great US Open run, and has almost certainly surpassed Johnson. Johnson is a California native who played college at USC, so perhaps home advantage will help him. But the Spaniard is just better right now.
Prediction: Davidovich Fokina in 3
Main Photo from Getty.