An absolutely stunning line up on Day 3 of the ATP Indian Wells Masters. With breath-taking match ups across the park, it’s hard to believe that it’s only the second round. Denis Shapovalov gets his campaign underway, as well as crowd favourite Diego Schwartzman. We also have separate articles predicting other matches. One features Kei Nishikori vs Dan Evans, the second highlights Daniil Medvedev vs Mackenzie MacDonald, and the third features Andrey Rublev vs Carlos Taberner. So, who will be heading to the third round?
ATP Indian Wells Day 3 Predictions
Lloyd Harris vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Head-to-head: First meeting
This should be an interesting encounter, and one which will surely happen many more times given their similar rankings and age. Lloyd Harris has been one of the in form players on hard courts this season, with wins over Nadal, Thiem, Shapovalov, Khachanov, Nishikori, Opelka, and plenty more. The South African is quickly becoming an absolute force on the surface, and it won’t be surprising to see him pull off another great performance this week.
Davidovich Fokina has stalled a fair bit in recent months, winning only two matches since Wimbledon. The young Spaniard is clearly missing the clay as his game thrives far better on there. However, he’s no scrub on hard, courts and the slower conditions here will help him. Harris still goes in as the clear favorite, though, as his aggressive and accurate game does so much damage. Davidovich Fokina will make it competitive, but I doubt he’ll have enough.
Prediction: Harris in 2
Sebastian Korda vs Frances Tiafoe
Head-to-head: Tiafoe 1 – 0 Korda
What a treat this will be. Tiafoe has been so impressive this year after his huge drop in the rankings, and his tennis is just so electric on a really consistent basis. Everything in his game is clicking nicely, and we’ll no doubt be seeing him well inside the top 30 soon. As we know, Tiafoe can beat anyone on his day and he loves playing in front of the US crowd. That said, he faces another young American who is impressing more and more.
Korda is still just 21 years old, but is promising to be some prospect. Despite this, he has fallen off somewhat recently, and needs to find some form this week. His aggressive baseline game is a nightmare for anyone, but his form and fitness makes it hard to gauge how he’ll be feeling here. I have no doubt he’ll play a great match and probably grab a set, but Tiafoe’s explosive game should be strong enough to win this clash.
Prediction: Tiafoe in 3
Diego Schwartzman vs Maxime Cressy
Head-to-head: First meeting
This for me is the highlight match of the day. We couldn’t really be getting a bigger clash in styles here. Schwartzman is an exceptional baseliner who can grind out rallies as tough as they come, and his point construction is beautiful. To add to this, he possesses one of the strongest two handed backhands on the men’s tour. His best tennis comes on the clay, so the slower conditions here will really benefit him.
Maxime Cressy is one of the most fascinating and intriguing players on the circuit. A game of all out attack, where he goes for every single serve and rushes the net at any given chance. His game is quite a breath of fresh air, and watching this play out against Schwartzman’s defensive and rock solid baseline game should be some spectacle. I think the Argentine’s consistency and unending competitiveness will play a big role in fighting off the wild game of Cressy here, but it may also be hard to adjust to. Don’t be surprised if this goes to three sets.
Prediction: Schwartzman in 3
Denis Shapovalov vs Vasek Pospisil
Head-to-head: Shapovalov 2 – 1 Pospisil
Neither player heads into this match in good form. Shapovalov has been wildly off his game since his gut-wrenching loss to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semifinals. There have been good performances here and there such as his opening rounds at the US Open, but his crushing loss to Norrie in San Diego will have really stung. The young Canadian is capable of world beating performances on his day, but his off days will result in him losing to someone he’s far better than.
Pospisil has never really managed to be a consistent player, but he’s often able to serve his way out of trouble and pull off some excellent shots to keep him near the top of the men’s game. This match is very simple, really. If Shapovalov serves well and hits more winners than unforced errors, then he will win. If he serves poorly and makes too many errors, then Pospisil will. The problem is, Pospisil is also prone to many errors and inconsistent play. I won’t be surprised if this is topsy-turvy affair, but Shapovalov should be good enough in the end.
Prediction: Shapovalov in 3
Main Photo from Getty.