Indian Wells is back and what a treat it is for tennis fans around the world. The tournament is one of the standout events on the tennis calendar every year and for good reason. The tournament plays host to the very best on both the men’s and women’s tours every year which makes for a jam-packed week of brilliant tennis. This year the ‘Big 3’ are missing from the men’s draw but if anything that makes this tournament all the more interesting. the ATP has seen several first-time Masters 1000 winners crowned this year. Will we see another in Indian Wells? Each day we look at who should take one step closer to lifting that trophy as we try and answer that very question. Friday is no different as we dive into our ATP Indian Wells Day 2 predictions.
As always, we predict all of the day’s matches. We split the 16 matches between four articles, including this one. One features Kevin Anderson vs Jordan Thompson, another Dominik Koepfer vs Emil Ruusuvuori, and the third highlights John Millman vs Jack Sock.
ATP Indian Wells Day 2 Predictions
Facundo Bagnis vs Emilio Gomez
Head-to-head: 3 – 1 Bagnis
Facundo Bagnis is the clear favorite here. He leads the head-to-head 3-1, although these two last played in 2018 so it doesn’t count for much. Nonetheless, the Argentinian is having a career year in 2021 and has played some great tennis as of late. Emilio Gomez is a better hard court player than Bagnis which could make this match tight. However, the courts at Indian Wells are considerably slower than most hard courts. That levels the playing field considerably for Bagnis who is a clay court specialist. The Argentinian should win this. It will be close and may well require a third set, but his form and level of play this year are good enough to see him through here.
Prediction: Bagnis in 3
Denis Kudla vs Alejandro Tabilo
Head-to-head: First meeting
Alejandro Tabilo is another clay courter who has made his way into the main draw at Indian Wells. The number of red dirt specialists to have done so is a good indicator of how much slower the courts are here than in most hard court tournaments. The Chilean did well to come through qualifying regardless, and his thumping of Evgeny Donsky was particularly impressive. Still, his opponent Denis Kudla is a far more accomplished player who is far more comfortable on this surface. Tabilo’s form in qualifying makes me think he’s in with a chance here, but Kudla has been in good form recently and is also playing in his home country. Probably another three-set match here, but one Kudla should emerge from when the dust settles.
Prediction: Kudla in 3
Federico Delbonis vs Yoshito Nishioka
Head-to-head: 1 – 0 Delbonis
The only previous meeting between these two was in 2015 on clay which makes it irrelevant. Federico Delbonis comes into this match on a six match losing streak. He has failed to win a set in his last five encounters. He remains inside the top 50 in the world on the back of a strong clay court season, but he really isn’t much of a threat on hard courts. the slower courts here will help a bit, but not enough in this match. Yoshito Nishioka is a very good tennis player who rarely makes mistakes. He covers the court extremely well and will make Delbonis hit through him if he wants to win. I’m not sure Delbonis has that in him on these courts and I think Nishioka should win comfortably here, particularly given their contrasting form in recent weeks.
Prediction: Nishioka in 2
Andy Murray vs Adrian Mannarino
Head-to-head: 2 – 0 Murray
This looks like a great first match for Andy Murray. Adrian Mannarino has played precious little tennis in recent months and looks short of form and matches. His game also doesn’t translate well on slower courts, with his flat groundstrokes bringing more reward on faster, skiddy surfaces. Murray is still searching for his best tennis but has certainly become more consistent in recent weeks which is a good sign. The Brit will be hoping to get as many matches under his belt as he can between now and the end of the year, and he should get at least one more in Indian Wells. If he serves well and stays aggressive off his forehand wing, Murray should win this relatively comfortably. Mannarino will likely try and redirect balls and make the Brit run, but he has shown in recent weeks that his body can be trusted so that shouldn’t be an issue.
Prediction: Murray in 2
Main Photo from Getty.