Sixteen out of the 32 seeded players will be in action on Day 3 of the Indian Wells ATP 1000 event as the top half of the nen’s draw will play for a place in the round of 32. Top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori and the veteran Spaniard David Ferrer who has a tour level best record (18-1) and has already won three tournaments in 2015 will be playing their first match of the tournament as all 32 seeds have been given a bye into the second round in the 96 player draw.
The line up in the top half is as under with my picks mentioned first :-
Novak Djokovic (1) v. Marcos Baghdatis
Julien Benneteau (25) v. Albert Ramos-Vinelas
John Isner (18) v. Jurgen Melzer
Kevin Anderson (16) v. Frederico Delbonis
Marin Cillic (10) v. Juan Monaco
Thanasi Kokkinakis v. Guillermo Garcia Lopez (23)
Bernard Tomic (32) v. Borna Coric
David Ferrer (8) v. Ivan Dodig
Andy Murray (4) v. Vasek Pospisil
Phillip Kohlschreiber (26) v. Tim Smyczek
Fabio Fognini (19) v. Adrian Mannarino
Ernests Gulbis (14) v. Daniel Gimeno-Traver
Feliciano Lopez (12) v. Eduardo Roger-Vasselin
Pablo Cuevas (20) v. Jarko Nieminen
Fernando Verdasco (28) v. James Duckworth
Kei Nishikori (5) v. Ryan Harrison
While Djokovic should progress against a somewhat resurgent Marcos Baghdatis, his potential semi-final opponent Andy Murray who has lost on the first round at Indian Wells previously will have to be watchfull against Vasek Pospisil of Canada who won the doubles and the deciding rubber against Japan in the first round of the Davis Cup in Vancouver last weekend. The US Open champion Marin Cillic of Croatia will be playing his first match of 2015 against the Argentine Juan Monaco who was the runner up in Buenos Aires ( loss to Nadal). Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis who alongwith Nick Kyrgios is regarded as “Special K” and was instrumental in helping Australia reach the second round of the Davis Cup for the first time since 2006 as he came from two sets down to beat Lucas Rosol of the Czech Republic; should follow that up with the scalp of the Spaniard Guillermo Garcia Lopez while the winless Latvian Ernests Gulbis (0-5 in 2015) should finally get his first win of the year against another Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver.
However the two most intriguing matches of the day pits Australian Bernard Tomic against the fast rising 18 year old Borna Coric of Croatia who already has wins over Rafael Nadal ( in Basel) and Andy Murray ( in Dubai) over the last six months, while Japan’s Kei Nishikori who has risen to number five in the rankings faces the Californian Ryan Harrison who spoiled the comeback of Mardy Fish in the first round as he fought off two match points in the third set.
On Day 2 of the tournament there were wins for Americans Donald Young, Steve Johnson and Jack Sock, Dutchmen Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling, Australian Nick Kyrgios, Sergei Stakhovsky of Russia, Ukraine’s Alexander Dolgopolov who had beaten Rafael Nadal last year before loosing to Roger Federer in the semi-finals, Romanian Victor Hanescu, Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan, Diego Schwartzman of Argentina who next plays Roger Federer, Malek Jaziri of Tunisia, Simone Bolleli of Italy, Martin Klizan of Slovak Republic, Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan and Germany’s Michael Berrer. Two matches were decided in the third set tie-breaker when Schwartzman defeated the 2013 Wimbledon semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz of Poland and Andrey Golubev who was a member of Kazakhstan’s win over Italy, put out the colourful German Dustin Brown under lights.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]