ATP INDIAN WELLS 2015: Day 6 Preview

Andy Murray is now only two wins away from surpassing Tim Henman’s tally of 496 career match victories which would make him the most successful British player in the Open Era since 1968 after coming through a patchy three set win over his German rival Phillip Kohlschreiber as he reached the last sixteen of the Indian Wells ATP 1000 event and now goes on to meet French left hander Adrian Mannarino who handed the hapless Latvian Ernests Gulbis his sixth loss of the year by winning in straight seeds. The 14th seeded Gulbis has only won one match in 2015 in the second round here on Sunday and offered little resistance to Mannarino who had earlier beaten the Italian no. 19 seed Fabio Fognini in the second round. The bottom half if the men’s draw will play for a place in the round of 16 with former champions Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in action on Day 6 of the 11 day long ATP 1000 event along with young guns Milos Raonic of Canada and Grigor Dmitrov of Bulgaria.

The line-up in the bottom half is as under with my picks mentioned first :-

Milos Raonic (6) v. Alexandr Dolgopolov
Grigor Dmitrov (11) v. Tommy Robredo (17)
Gilles Simon (13) v. Michael Berrer
Rafael Nadal (3) v. Donald Young
Lucas Rosol (27) v. Robin Haase
Tomas Berdych (9) v. Steve Johnson
Roberto Bautista Agut (15) v. Jack Sock
Roger Federer (2) v. Andreas Seppi (30)

Four time winner Roger Federer gets a chance to avenge his surprise four set loss in the third round of this year’s Australian Open in Melbourne against the 30th seeded Italian Andreas Seppi while Grigor Dmitrov who defeated Nick Kyrgios in a third set tie-break plays the Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo in the only other match between two seeded players. Milos Raonic of Canada faces the Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov who had upset Rafael Nadal last year before losing to Federer in the semi-finals.

The trio of young Americans will have to play exceptionally well as they pitted against more fancied opponents. The left handed Donald Young faces the three time champion Nadal (seeded 3rd), Jack Sock  plays Nadal’s Spanish compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut (seeded 15th), while Steve Johnson plays Tomas Berdych (seeded 9th) of the Czech Republic.

On Day 5 of the tournament there were wins for Kei Nishikori of Japan who overcame the loss of the first set tie-break to beat the Spanish left hander Fernando Verdasco in three sets and the American number one John Isner who was a runner up in 2012 (loss to Federer) and a semi-finalist in 2014 (loss to Djokovic). The 18th seeded American won against Kevin Anderson of South Africa in straight sets.

The Australian Davis cup stars once again proved that the once mighty Aussies are well on the way back to its past glory when Bernard Tomic halted the amazing run of David Ferrer who has won three tournaments this year in Doha, Rio de Janeiro and Acapulco while teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis prevailed over Argentine Juan Monaco in a third set tie-break.

In the night session Novak Djokovic overcame a slow start to defeat little known Spaniard Albert Ramos Vinolas which set up another encounter against John Isner at the same tournament for the third time in four years; they have split the previous two while the Spanish left hander Feliciano Lopez needed three sets to brush aside Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay, he next faces Nishikori.

– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@gmail.com]

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