What a line-up we have on our hands as the 2022 ATP BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells enters its third-round phase. World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev faces a tough foe in Gael Monfils, while Stefanos Tsitsipas appears to be in serious danger against Jenson Brooksby. Who will go a step further at Indian Wells? We also predict the rest of the day’s matches in a separate article.
ATP Indian Wells Day 5 Predictions
Reilly Opelka vs Denis Shapovalov
Head-to-head: Shapovalov 2-0
Denis Shapovalov usually doesn’t perform well against big servers, mostly due to the weakness of his backhand return. The head-to-head is a bit surprising in that context, but both matches (Queens 2017, Australian Open 2022) were very competitive. Nothing else should be expected here but a first win for Reilly Opelka seems very plausible. The American was more impressive than Shapovalov in the second round and in such a tight rivalry, it’s tough to imagine him staying without a win for a very long series of meetings.
Prediction: Opelka in 3
Carlos Alcaraz vs Roberto Bautista Agut
Head-to-head: First meeting
Carlos Alcaraz’s only loss of the season so far came to Matteo Berrettini at the Australian Open, other than that the teenager has been nothing short of stellar. Do the conditions in Indian Wells actually play in his favor? Both sides of the argument can present some valid points but in a matchup like against Roberto Bautista Agut, his all-or-nothing attacking style might turn out to be a bit too risky. The 18-year-old has all the weapons required to hit through these courts though and with his track of progress being so unbelievably steep, I might as well pick him anyway.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 3
Jenson Brooksby vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Head-to-head: First meeting
A big win for Jenson Brooksby is coming–it didn’t happen against Novak Djokovic at the US Open; it almost happened at Acapulco versus Alexander Zverev. The American gave Roberto Carballes Baena and Karen Khachanov just eight games combined so far and feels like a player who really benefits from the unique Indian Wells conditions. Something to think about is that with all the unpleasant aspects of Brooksby’s game, the power difference in this one will be very noticeable. However, as Stefanos Tsitsipas didn’t exactly set the world on fire in round one, this looks as close as it gets. Brooksby deserves a breakout win sooner than later.
Prediction: Brooksby in 3
Daniil Medvedev vs Gael Monfils
Head-to-head: Medvedev 2-0
Both players enjoy slugging it out from the baseline and the match is bound to bring us some incredible rallies. Gael Monfils has definitely picked his form up since the beginning of the year, but can he beat the World No. 1? In the end, the Frenchman’s assets kinda play into what Daniil Medvedev likes to look for on the court too. It’s a matchup that probably comes down to if Monfils can step out of his comfort zone and come up with something extra. Historically, he’s rarely been able to do that in big matches, especially against baseline players of Novak Djokovic’s and Rafael Nadal’s class. Medvedev belongs there at the moment.
Prediction: Medvedev in 2
Main Photo from Getty.