The line-up for the last 16 has been completed at the first of nine ATP 1000 for 2015 as the top six seeds have safely progressed into the fourth round.
Andy Murray is poised to equal Tim Henman’s tally of 496 career wins, the most by any British player since Open era in 1968, he will play the left handed Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. However the most intriguing match up is between the top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic and the top ranked American John Isner. It is the third meeting in four years in Indian Wells, while Isner won the 2012 semi-final, Djokovic won last year at the same stage.
On Day 6; there were wins for Rafael Nadal against the young American left hander Donald Young who competed well in the first set, the three time champion Nadal faces the stylish Frenchman Gilles Simon who too won in straight sets against the last German in the draw Michael Berrer. Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov who beat Nadal in 2014 went down in straight sets to the Canadian Milos Raonic. The sixth seed Raonic now plays the veteran Spaniard Tommy Robredo who beat Grigor Dmitrov of Bulgaria in three sets thus preventing a match up between the two young guns.
There will be an Australian in the last eight as Bernard Tomic plays his Davis Cup team-mate Thanassi Kokkinakis. The duo were instrumental in Australia’s first round victory over the Czech Republic which took them to the quarter-final for the first time since 2006. The remaining match in the top half pits Japan’s rising star Kei Nishikori against the Spanish left hander Feliciano Lopez.
There will also be a player representing the Czech Republic in the last eight as ninth seeded Tomas Berdych will face off against Lucas Rosol who is better known as the man who beat Nadal at Wimbledon 2012. While Berdych beat the American Steve Johnson in straight sets, the 27th seeded Rosol beat the Dutchman Robin Haase in three sets. The latter had upset the 2014 Australian Open Champion Stanislas Wawrinka in the second round.
The last remaining American in the bottom half of the draw Jack Sock upset the 15th seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut to set up a clash against four time champion Roger Federer who avenged his 3rd round loss at the Australian Open in Melbourne, as he easily put out the Italian Andreas Seppi, who was seeded 30th. The eventual scoreline was 6-3,6-4 in the second seeds favour.
The line-up for the last sixteen matches to be played on Day 7 with my picks mentioned first is as under :-
Novak Djokovic (1) v. John Isner (18)
Bernard Tomic (32) v. Thanassi Kokkinakis
Andy Murray (4) v. Adrien Mannarino
Kei Nishokori (5) v. Feliciano Lopez (12)
Rafael Nadal (3) v. Gilles Simon (13)
Milos Raonic (6) v. Tommy Robredo (17)
Tomas Berdych (9) v. Lucas Rosol (27)
Roger Federer (2) v. Jack Sock.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]