Day 5 of Indian Wells is upon us and features world #2 and recent US Open champion Daniil Medvedev in his quest to add yet another big hardcourt title to his resumé. Up against a man who has beaten him at Indian Wells before and taken him to five sets earlier this year it may well be a far trickier third round match than most people anticipate. We also have predictions for matches featuring Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov.
ATP Indian Wells Day 5 Predictions
Cameron Norrie vs Roberto Bautista-Agut
Head-to-head: Norrie 1-0
Norrie has no doubt had a year not many expected with a title and more wins than losses which has seen him enter the world’s top 30. Bautista-Agut on the other hand has struggled and is not the same player he was a few years ago. In this matchup there should be a lot of grinding from both ends of the court just like in their only meeting back in 2018 which went five sets. Given Indian Wells this year is playing relatively slow you have to favour the Spaniard to be able to grind the Brit down regardless of the form both are in. One thing for sure though is that they’ll be some very long rallies in this one.
Prediction: Bautista-Agut in 3
Grigor Dimitrov vs Reilly Opelka
Head-to-head: Opelka 1-0
It’s safe to say Opelka is now a huge force to be reckoned with now being inside the world’s top 20 and making his first second week of a major just last month. In fact, even just before the US Open he made his first Masters final in Canada beating Stefanos Tsitsipas and you guessed it, Grigor Dimitrov en route. It’s hard to see a result other than the same one again given just a few weeks ago was the first time since February that the Bulgarian had won three back-to-back matches. The only saving grace for the 30 year old might be the slow Indian Well courts allowing him to get many returns back into play which he’ll desperately need to have any chance here.
Prediction: Opelka in 2
Lloyd Harris vs Casper Ruud
Head-to-head: Ruud 1-0
It might be hard for some to believe but Casper Ruud is now a top 10 player. Whether you agree on his ‘method’ of getting there it’s a great accomplishment for someone may claim is only good on one surface, which is also somewhat ironic as his title last week came on a hardcourt in San Diego. Either way this is more or less the perfect hardcourt for the Norwegian, he can grind from the back of the court, move opponents around and get looked at opponents serves far more often than on a faster hardcourt such as at the US Open. Although Harris has proved he’s a threat on hardcourts with results such as a Dubai final and US Open quarter-final, Indian Wells won’t provide him the return he needs on his big groundstrokes for a big run here.
Prediction: Ruud in 2
Daniil Medvedev vs Filip Krajinovic
There’s no doubt that Daniil Medvedev is the favourite for Indian Wells after his maiden Grand Slam victory in New York last month. When the Russian finds form he’s often almost unbeatable for a month or two as highlighted in the second halves of 2019 and 2020. On paper you would think his early opponents in Indian Wells would be somewhat routine tasks but Krajinovic has not only beaten Medvedev here but the Serbian also took the 25 year old to five sets at the Australian Open this year. It’s a strange one because when you look at how the 29 year old plays you can’t overly see how and why he causes the world #2 so much trouble and on that basis can see this being the most routine of their matches.
Prediction: Medvedev in 2
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