As expected four of the six Americans made their way into the round of 32 at the first Master’s Series ATP 1000 event of the year in Indian Wells, California on Day 4 of the 11 day long event. They joined the top seed and Defending champion Novak Djokovic and three time former champion Rafael Nadal of Spain who took three sets to advance.
In the evening session, Djokovic began the defense of his title against little known American Bjorn Fratangelo ranked 149th in the world as he dropped serve twice to hand the first set 6-2 to the 22 year old born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As expected he found his range and ran away with the next two sets and the match in one hour and forty six minutes as he won 2-6,6-1,6-2.
He was followed on court by Rafael Nadal who too had to struggle to beat fellow left hander Giles Muller of Luxembourg 6-2,2-6,6-4. In contrast the fifth seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan and seventh seeded Jo Wilfred Tsonga of France registered straight set wins over Mikhail Kukushkin and Vincent Millot.
The projected match of the day lived up to its expectation as the German teenager Alexander Zverev defeated the 23rd seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dmitrov 6-4,3-6,7-5. The Austrian Dominic Thiem had to win through in two tie-breaks against the Slovakian Jozef Kovalik 7-6(4),7-6(3).
The Spaniards Roberto Bautista Agut and Fernando Verdasco advanced as well, Agut got a walkover from Mikhail Youzhny while Martin Klizan the winner in Rotterdam conceded trailing 3-5 to Verdasco in the first set. Another Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, Frenchmen Giles Simon and Benoit Paire, German Phillipe Kohlschreiber were the other seeded players to move into the the round of 32.
The following is the list of matches in the bottom half of the men’s draw with my pick mentioned first :-
Andy Murray (2) v. Frederico Delbonis
Stanislas Wawrinka (3) v. Andrey Kuznetsov
Tomas Berdych (6) v. Borna Coric
Milos Raonic (12) v. Bernard Tomic (17)
Richard Gasquet (8) v. Alexander Dolgopolov (26)
Gael Monfils (13) v. Albert Ramos-Vinolas
David Goffin (15) v. Guido Pella
Marin Cilic (10) v. Leonardo Mayer
In what may well be the best match of the tournament thus far, Canada’s Milos Raonic takes on the Australian Bernard Tomic. Atleast one Argentinian can be expected to pull off an upset as the Rio De Janeiro finalist Guido Pella battles the Belgian David Goffin while the Davis Cup marathon man Leonardo Mayer plays the underperforming 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia. Another Croat Borna Coric will play the seasoned Czech Tomas Berdych
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]