After a week of brilliant tennis, we enter into the 8th day of the Indian Wells Open held in the Coachella Valley.The past 7 days produced some great results and as we enter into the pre-quarterfinal stage, excitement and power packed performances are at stake. Tennis at a sublimate level will soon be marking it’s presence in the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Five of the top 10 seeds have made it to the pre quarters.
Following are my predictions for the Pre-Quarterfinal matches of the men’s singles, Day 8:
1.  Milos Raonic vs  Andy Murray:
This is going to be one of the most anticipated match-ups of the day because it will be played between the big serving Canadian Raonic and Britain’s pride and fifth seed Andy Murray. Murray is recovering from a back surgery and is desperate to improve his performance this year.He is consistently struggling but is still winning his matches and Raonic is playing in good form and is firing a whopping number of aces on his opponents which is going to be a huge advantage to him to play against Murray. Raonic has got better of Murray by 2-1 in their head to head meetings.In their round of 32 matches, Raonic flew past Falla in clean 2 sets where Murray ad to sweat it out against Jiri Vesely in three tight sets.
Prediction: It is pretty tough to call but going against the odds, I pick Raonic to win the take the scoreline into his favor because of his the better and stronger form he is enjoying than the Brit. If Murray is to win the match, he will have to show Raonic a super strong start and take the set 1 and build huge pressure on him.
2.  Stanislas Wawrinka vs  Kevin Anderson:
Wawrinka in his career best form has played the best matches this year than any other active player till date.He is smashing away his opponents ruthlessly and is showing no signs of a full stop to his glittering performance.his continued winning streak is the witness of his victory spell which has hypnotized his growing number of fans fans worldwide. He has won his past 2 matches here in straight sets showing no signs of fatigue even after participating and winning in doubles too along with his fellow compatriot and good friend, Roger Federer. On.On the other hand
Kevin Anderson is also performing the best he can and is giving it all what it takes to win. He came back from a set down in his previous round victory.
Wawrinka maintains a perfect 3-0 record in the head to head meetings against the towering Russian.The last time they played was in 2013 Shanghai Masters where Wawrinka managed to sneak past in 3 sets.
Prediction :Wawrinka will make it to the quarters if he continues his kind of performance which is definitely expected out of him and will face a little resistance from Anderson en route to his victory.
3.  Tommy Haas vs  Roger Federer:
“Old is Gold” and this line up for the evening session is going to prove the saying correct. Both the players in this match are aged 30 above( Federer-32 and Haas-35).
The new “Old Federer” is playing inspiring tennis this year and is escaping from possible losses he would hate to deal with this year.He is yet to drop a set here and is struggling just a little pinch while playing here as he was stretched to two tiebreak sets by Tursunov.He is absolutely strong and nearly flawless at the net which will help him strengthen his 12-3 win loss record against today’s German opponent Haas and will try his best to cut the chase.Haas beat Nishikori in 2 sets in his last match and is showing what danger he is even at such an age.The last time Federer and Haas played was in 2013 on the hard courts of Cincinnati where the Swiss legend fended off the challenge of the German in three sets after losing the first by 1-6 and then made a stunning turn around to win the match.Whenever these two play each other, sublime quality tennis is produced.
Prediction: Federer to win this match probably in straight sets only if he deploys good technique and avoids facing any lapses right from the root level of the match and give his best.If Haas is to win, he will have to build pressure on Federer on all areas of the court.But still I place my bet on Federer to win and clinch his spot the QFs and might have a tough day at work.
4 . Marin Cilic vs  Novak Djokovic:
In the night session, we have another power packed tennis match calling for great display of athleticism and power two men can possess in them .A match between the Serbian Novak djokovic and Croat Big hitter, Marin Cilic.
Djokovic had an unexpected tough outing in his round of 32 match, where he overcame his opponent in three sets.He has been a little inconsistent this year but is still one of the hot favorites to claim the trophy this week.Cilic had a comparatively easier job done by demolishing the challenge of Tommy Robredo in two clean sets.And Cilic has already bagged 2 titles this year
Djokovic holds a 7-0 advantage over Cilic in their head to head meetings.The last time they played was in 2012 Cincinnati Open where Djokovic brushed aside Cilic in straight sets.
Prediction: I expect Djokovic to take it in straight sets only if he performs better than his last one and shows his mettle.He will face a tough fight from Cilic but will eventually emerge out as the better guy and win this 8th encounter between them.
5.Alexander Dolgopolov vs Fabio Fognini:
This match will be pretty exciting it in it’s own ways because both of the men have stunned Rafael Nadal and Gael Monfils respectively in their previous matches.Both of them look to continue what can be called as their “dream run.
Dolgopolov and Fognini have played each other three times with Dolgopolov winning all of them.Their last meeting recently came in the past month’s Brazil open where Fognini was thrashed by Dolgopolov where he won just two games and fell his strong play
Prediction: Dolgopolov to win is 4th straight match against the Italian.
6. [20 ]Ernests Gulbis vs Roberto Bautista Agut:
Gulbis beat the young gun Dimitrov in the previous match after coming back from a one set deficit and showed the best in him to edge out the in form Bulgarian.On the other hand Bautista-Agut beat Jarkko Nieminen in three sets.
Gulbis and Bautista-Agut have played faced each other two times with Gulbis claiming wins in both of their meetings.In their last month’s meeting in Marseille, Gulbis beat him in 3 sets and claimed victory.
Prediction : It is tough decide one but both of them have got equal chances of winning it.To name one I’d say Gulbis to win.
7.  Fernando Verdasco vs  John Isner:
The last American standing firm in the draw finished the challenge of Y Lu in his previous match in straight sets and looked sharp in his play.Fernando Verdasco on the other hand registered victory over Richard Gasquet in an easy two set match.
Isner and Verdasco have played each other just once with Verdasco claiming the first victory in them back at the 2009 US open.
A tough match between a big serving machine and a hard hitting bundle will be produced.
Prediction: Tough to call yet again but I expect a three set battle coming out in favor of Isner after facing a neck to neck battle from Verdasco.
8.Julien Benetteau vs Feliciano Lopez:
Benetteau in this tournament has stunned Tsonga and played good against Dominic Thiem in his last match.Feliciano Lopez battled his way back from being one set down to Mikhail Kukushkin.
Both of them have played each other 7 times with Benetteau winning 5 times and Lopez winning twice.The last time they met was in 2013 with Benetteau winning it.
Prediction:Benetteau to win in straight sets.
The pre quarterfinals are filled with a lot of good matches and will serve up a tasty treat of high quality and sublime tennis.It is not gonna be what the players have done but it is all about what they will do because this is all what the sport is all about.The fans who will be watching the matches in the stadium will get full worth of the money they will pay to watch.I am looking forward to all the interesting matches of the day.
-Vishakha Khandelwal [Vishakha is a Tennis Analyst for Sportz Cosmos. You can reach her at the gmail id : sportzcosmos]