ATP Indian Wells Day 2 Predictions Including Ilya Ivashka vs Jan-Lennard Struff

Ilya Ivashka in action ahead of the ATP Washington Open.
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The ATP Indian Wells Masters is underway, and tennis fans across the globe are hugely excited for the what’s often dubbed as the “5th Slam.” Plenty of exciting matchups await us on Day 2, and we will be offering up our predictions on who will be heading to the next round. So, who is marching on in the sunshine?

ATP Indian Wells Day 2 Predictions

Jaume Munar vs Shang Juncheng

Head-to-head: First meeting

Not a whole lot is known about Shang Juncheng; the 17 year old just became the youngest male player to qualify for a Masters 1000 since Rafael Nadal in 2003. Those who watched him in the 2021 Junior US Open know that he’s a serious talent–but an appearance at Indian Wells this soon is frankly mind-blowing. In qualifying he took down the in-form Francisco Cerundolo in straight sets, and led Mats Moraing by a set before his opponent retired.

Jaume Munar prefers the clay to hard courts, but the conditions here could suit him well. The Spaniard is surely not where he should be right now, ranked just inside the top 100 despite a career high of 52. There’s plenty of potential there but he is yet to fulfil it, and these are the matches he really should be winning. Given his opponent’s form, he will most likely be well tested here. Shang could well grab a set and even cause an upset if Munar is off, but I’ll back the guy with a bit more experience–for now.
Prediction: Munar in 3

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Kamil Majchrzak vs Aljaz Bedene

Head-to-head: Bedene 1 Р0 Majchrzak

This will be Aljaz Bedene’s first match on tour since July last year. He will no doubt be very rusty and lacking a lot of match practice–not ideal when heading into a Masters 1000. Bedene has shown good signs at times in his career but never reached the Top 40, and one wonders if he’ll ever do so given the immense competition on tour these days.

Majchrzak has impressed a lot in recent times, and this is a pretty ideal start for him. The Pole has a great game for these courts and can hit through the ball supremely–which will cause Bedene a lot of trouble. Majchrzak will be pretty pleased with this as a first round encounter, and he shouldn’t have too much trouble.
Prediction: Majchrzak in 2

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Mikhail Kukushkin vs Tommy Paul

Head-to-head: Paul 1 – 0 Kukushkin

Kukushkin is getting towards the end of his career it seems, but he did brilliantly to come through Seppi and Nishioka in qualifying. Clearly he’s not done just yet. However, he’s been unable to put together strings of results for a while now, and his opponent will be the red-hot favourite here.

Tommy Paul has always had great potential, and week by week he looks to be living up to it. Currently ranked at a career high of 39, these are the sort of weeks now where he’ll be looking for a statement run. He hits with a lot more purpose these days and moves really well. This along with the home crowd supporting him – he should have too much for Kukushkin here, who will need an unbelievable performance to cause an upset.
Prediction: Paul in 2

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Ilya Ivashka vs Jan-Lennard Struff

Head-to-head: Struff 2 – 1 Ivashka

This should be one of the matches of the day. Two players who balance each other so well, with Struff being the more aggressive compared to Ivashka who grinds out a point till the very end and never goes away. Their previous encounters don’t tell us a huge amount–Struff won on clay and indoor hard, and Ivashka won on outdoor hard. Luckily for Ivashka, this is an outdoor hard court.

However, these courts aren’t typical and often players who thrive on clay do well here. In terms of form, Ivashka has been the more consistent one in the past year, especially on this surface. Struff is always a dangerous opponent but is just prone to too many errors and lacks the variety to change the outcome of a match. Ivashka has the variety and defensive skills to deal with Struff’s power, and should be the winner here. Struff may blast the winners down for a set, but it’s unlikely to last the match.
Prediction: Ivashka in 3

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