Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open Preview And Predictions - Men's Draw
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Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open Preview And Predictions - Men's Draw

This year's draw has a very new feel to it, with none of the ‘Big Three' featuring in California this week, while current holder Dominic Thiem also remains out with injury. That means we're guaranteed a new winner of this event, with those four having taken the title in 14 of the last 16 renewals. US Open champion Daniil Medvedev looks the one to beat as he moves up to top seed following the late withdrawal of Novak Djokovic. Check out our preview and predictions for one of the most popular events on calendar.

 


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The Contenders

Quarter 1

Medvedev headlines this quarter and, like all seeded players, will begin his tournament from the second round against either James Duckworth or Mackenzie McDonald, both of whom are extremely dangerous players, though nothing that the Russian can’t handle. 

There’s no doubt that hard-court is his preferred surface and he has the record to back that up. He’s now won 44 of his last 49 hard-court matches including 16 of his last 17.

Hubert Hurkacz is the biggest threat to Medvedev in this quarter, and the Pole will have taken confidence from taking the Moselle Open in Metz last week, though Pablo Carreno-Busta was the only player of note that Hurkacz faced in that run, with that victory over the Spaniard the only win over a top 25 player in his last five such matches, so this draw looks clear cut from a betting perspective.



Quarter 2

Another Russian Andriy Rublev takes the reigns in this quarter as the fourth seed. He certainly has the ability to go all the way, being the only player to have beaten Medvedev in those most recent 17 hard-court matches. 

It’s been a very strong year for the Russian who has reached seven finals, winning four of those titles but losing each of the last three. He seems to have tailed off slightly in this hard-court season, winning just 9 of his 15 matches when up against top-25 players and the other seeded players may feel like they can get something here. 

Cameron Norrie will be the first real challenge for Rublev, and that’s even more true now considering the brit won their clash last week in the San Diego Semis. 

Norrie saw off all of Rublev, Denis Shapovalov and Dan Evans en route to that final, though was brushed aside by Casper Ruud in the final. Norrie will have a really tough run to get to that stage again here, with Roberto Bautista-Agut not one to overlook either.

Ruud has broken into the top-10 in the world following a stellar 2021, and although he’s looking to take Rafael Nadal’s mantel as the king of clay when the Spaniard retires, he also comes into this off the back of his maiden hard-court title in San Diego. 

When excluding Grand Slams, he’s won 32 of his last 36 completed matches, with those defeats coming against Daniil Medvedev, Alex Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini, so he looks near unbeatable against non-top-10 players at the moment and should go far.

Quarter 3

Alex Zverev is many people’s picks to take this title and the German has been one of the most dangerous players in the world for a number of years now, so much so that it’s difficult to fathom that he’s still just 24. 

This hard-court season has been one of his best as he’s won 16 of 17 matches with that one defeat coming to Djokovic in the US Open semis. He’s taken the Olympic Gold and the Cincinnati title, so he’ll be exuding confidence heading into this. 

Carlos Alvaraz will be his first tough opponent with the Spanish teenager looking to take the world by storm. The Spaniard toppled Stefanos Tsitsipas before retiring in the US Open quarters, and will relish the opportunity to face another top player in this bracket.

Matteo Berrettini attacks from the other side of this quarter and we’d expect the Italian to cruise into the last 16, where he’ll likely face his countryman Jannik Sinner. 

Berrettini is much more of a grass court player, or so he proved this year, though a quarters run at the US Open is no mean feat especially when you consider he only got beaten by Djokovic, while he’s also beaten Felix Auger-Aliassime in his last outing in the Laver Cup. 

Sinner and Berrettini have never met on the court, and we’d be surprised if this wasn’t the venue of their first.



Quarter 4

Stefanos Tsitsipas rounds off the quarters as the second seed will be content with the draw he’s been handed. 

He faces no real threat until the round of 16, where the likes of Alex de Minaur and Cristian Garin await. The latter hasn’t had much to shout about this hard-court season, winning just two of his six matches and unless he can find a spark from nothing here it’s difficult to see the Chilean going far. 

De Minaur has had an even worse time of it though, losing six of seven matches since Wimbledon so it’s a tall order for him to find some form on this stage.

Auger-Aliassime comes in from the top side of this draw and, again, will be relatively relieved with his possible opening matches. 

Karen Khachanov is a possible fourth round opponent, though the Russian has dropped out of form slightly since reaching the Olympic Final, going just W4-L4 since, with one of those defeats coming to Auger-Aliassime himself. 

Khachanov will haveto get through Pablo Carreno-Busta just like he did in the Olympic semis, though the Spanish is hot off a final run in Metz and won’t roll over easily.

Tsitsipas is yet to win a top level outdoor hard-court title in his career, losing all six of his such finals. He’s also failed to reach any of his last five hard-court finals since March. 

We wouldn’t back against him reaching the semis here though with this draw, and he’ll feel confident in an expected last 16 clash against Auger-Aliassime considering he’s won each of their last five meetings.

PREDICTIONS:

Daniil Medvedev Win

Alex Zverev Win

0.5pts Casper Ruud E/W

0.5pts Felix Auger-Aliassime E/W

0.25pts Carlos Alvaraz E/W

 

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