ATP Indian Wells 1000: Preview of Day 5 Matches.

On Saturday, all the top guys in top half of the draw entertained the crowd. Now it’s the turn of the big guns like Djokovic, Berdych and Tsonga on other half to do the same.

Matches to follow on men’s side.

[4] Tomas Berdych vs. Roberto Bautista Agut

These two have split their two previous meetings with the Czech winning in straights in Thailand last year. Berdych is in fantastic form with semifinals at the Australian Open, title victory in Rotterdam and runner up finish in Dubai. He is near to unstoppable, it took a late surge from Roger Federer to end his career best 11-match winning streak in the final of Dubai. It’s going to be a nightmare for the Spaniard Agut who headlined with his thrilling upset of Del Potro in Melbourne, if the Czech finds his rhythm quickly.

Prediction: Berd-man wins in two

[6] Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Feliciano Lopez

There is a rivalry between these two big hitters with the youngest of the two leading 4-3 in the H2H. But their last two matches have been won by the Argentinian. It’s a big opportunity for veteran Lopez to even the rivalry beating bad patch and injury-hit Del Potro.

Prediction: Last year runner up Del Potro to continue his quest for form in a three setter

[9] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Julien Benneteau

An all French fight that Tsonga leads 5-3 in the H2H. His mighty serve and big forehand should be good enough to hand a loss to the veteran in this second round contest.

Prediction: Tsonga goes through to the R32 comfortably in straight sets

[2] Novak Djokovic vs. Victor Hanescu

Djokovic hasn’t played badly this season but unfortunately he ran into inspired Swiss opponents in the two tournaments he contested so far and ended up losing in the deciding set. Serb will be hungry to perform up to his potential in Indian Wells where he is a two-time champion. Facing the tall Romanian should be a good warm up for the second seed to play the big matches in the later stages.

Prediction: Novak cruises to the R32 in two easy sets

[12] John Isner vs. Nikolay Davydenko

2012-runner up and the top ranked American attempts to become the first American since the legend Andre Agassi to triumph in the Californian desert. But his troubled fitness and lack of enough number of matches under his belt could prove to be costly for him in this second round match against the former world no.3 Davydenko.

Prediction: Isner needs to fight to his strengths to secure a victory in three sets

[15] Grigor Dimitrov vs. Robin Haase

Under his new coach Roger Rasheed, this future star suddenly seems to have found what it takes to be a top player. Since their coalition, Grigor beat Ferrer in Stockholm to win his maiden title, reached quarters in Australia where he lost to Nadal in four tough sets and beat Andy Murray en route to his biggest title to date in Acapulco last week. He will look to extend his 5-match winning streak further by beating Haase in the second round.

Prediction: Bulgarian edges the Dutchman in straight sets

Other matches with the predictions

[8] Richard Gasquet vs. Teymuraz Gabashvili

Top Frenchman Gasquet to put on a rehearsal of his skills against the Russian to move into the R32.

[20] Ernests Gulbis vs. Joao Sousa

With the kind of form Gulbis is in, it shouldn’t be a big hurdle for him to get past the Portuguese. Latvian to advance comfortably in straight sets.

[30] Fernando Verdasco vs. Horacio Zeballos

Spaniard Verdasco no longer has the fitness levels which took him to the top 10 of the rankings years ago. He might need to earn the victory in a hard fought three sets against the Argentinian.

-Harish Narahari [Harish Narahari is a Sports Analyst for the Tennis Galaxy at Sportz Cosmos He tweets here]

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