The remaining sixteen seeded players will play their second round matches on Day 4 of the BNP Paribas Open in the desert of Indian Wells, California as the bottom half of the men’s draw will play for a place in the round of 32. Four times champion Roger Federer, arch-rival Rafael Nadal who has won the event thrice, Milos Raonic and Stanislas Wawrinka 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. While Federer has won in Brisbane and Dubai, fellow Swiss Wawrinka won Chennai and Rotterdam. Nadal won his first title of the year in Buenos Aires. Raonic, still searching for his maiden title in 2015, was beaten by Federer in the Brisbane final giving the Swiss Master his 1000th career match win.
The line-up in the bottom half is as under with my picks mentioned first :-
Milos Raonic (6) v. Simone Bolleli
Alexander Dolgopolov v. Santiago Giraldo (29)
Tommy Robredo (17) v. Andrey Golubev
Grigor Dmitrov (11) v. Nick Kyrgios
Gilles Simon (13) v. Malek Jaziri
Richard Gasquet (22) v. Michael Berrer
Donald Young v. Jeremy Chardy (31)
Rafael Nadal (3) v. Igor Sijsling
Stanislas Wawrinka (7) v. Robin Haase
Martin Klizan v. Lucas Rosol (27)
Ivo Karlovic (21) v. Steve Johnson
Tomas Berdych (9) v. Sergey Stakhovsky
Roberto Bautista Agut (15) v. Denis Istomin
Gilles Muller (33) v. Jack Sock
Andreas Seppi (30) v. Victor Hanescu
Roger Federer (2) v. Diego Schwartzman
Federer requiring to win 3 matches to become the only player to win 50 matches at Indian Wells, will play the Argentine Diego Schwartzman and a win could set up a revenge match against the Italian Andreas Seppi; his conqueror in Melbourne. Nadal continues his comeback after being sidelined for the most part of the second half of 2014 against Igor Sisjling of Holland.
However the intriguing matches of the day pits Grigor Dmitrov against Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios, while last years semi-finalist Alexander Dolgopolov plays the Colombian Santiago Giraldo. Promising American Donald Young plays the stylish Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. The Argentine 24th seed Leonardo Mayer who won the longest match in Davis Cup history – 6 hour 42 minute marathon against against Brazil’s Joao Souza last Sunday in Buenos Aires has withdrawn and Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller who is ranked 36th in the ATP rankings has been given 33rd seed in Mayer’s absence as he is the highest ranked player to miss out being seeded, faces another American Jack Sock.
On Day 3 of the tournament both Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray had identical 6-1,6-3 wins over Marcos Baghdatis and Vasek Pospisil. Fifth seeded Kei Nishikori eliminated the Californian Ryan Harrison while eighth seeded David Ferrer required a third set tie-breaker to outlast Croatian Ivan Dodig. There were wins for other seeded players, American no. 1 John Isner, Kevin Anderson of South Africa, Australian Bernard Tomic, Phillip Kohlschreber of Germany, Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis who finally won his first match in 2015 after losing five straight to start the year, Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco and the Uruguyan Pablo Cuevas.
Not so lucky were the US Open champion Marin Cillic (seeded 10th) who was playing his first match of the year after being sidelined due to shoulder injury as he lost to Juan Monaco of Argentina. Italy’s Fabio Fognini (seeded 19th) who lost the deciding rubber to Alexander Nedovyosov of Kazakhstan in the first round of Davis Cup, lost to French left hander Adrien Mannarino. Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis who replaced Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro as the wild card entrant, put out the Spaniard Guillermo Garcia Lopez (seeded 23rd) in three tough sets, while another Spaniard Albert Ramos-vinolas defeated France’s Julien Benneteau, seeded 23rd in straight sets.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]