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 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 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina vs Steve Johnson.
ATP Indian Wells Day 1 Predictions
Taro Daniel vs Philipp Kohlschreiber
Kohlschreiber is clearly at the tail end of his career, though he still has his moments. The serve is still stellar when on, but the baseline game just isn’t what it used to be. Daniel, meanwhile, is solid but not at all elite. If Kohlschreiber can play well, this is a match he definitely should win. But that’s a big if nowadays.
Prediction: Daniel in 3
Mackenzie McDonald vs James Duckworth
After Duckworth’s surprising post US Open run he’s at a career high ranking. Duckworth was a quarterfinalist in Sofia most recently, won the Istanbul challenger, and reached the ATP Astana final his first ever. McDonald is playing at home but has struggled since reaching the Washington final (also his first ever). Both players have made strides this season, but Duckworth’s form is impeccable.
Prediction: Duckworth in 2
Marcos Giron vs Botic van de Zandschulp
Giron has taken major strides this year, with impressive performances at the last three Majors of the year. Even though he didn’t reach a second week (third round at the French Open, second round at Wimbledon and the US Open), he played above his level and showcased his abilities. Of course, Botic van de Zandschulp went much further than that at the US Open. He played incredible tennis to reach the quarterfinals. The Dutchman hasn’t consistently shown us that level yet, so we can’t count on it, but he should be better in this match.
Prediction: van de Zandschulp in 3
Frances Tiafoe vs Benoit Paire
Tiafoe won their only meeting. Paire was a quarterfinalist in Cincinnati but has struggled to be consistent, as is his usual challenge. Tiafoe had a solid summer, including a second week appearance at the US Open. The American could make a nice run under the California sun here and should get off to a winning start.
Prediction: Tiafoe in 2
Main Photo from Getty.