I’ve been watching the Indian Wells coverage on/off the last few days and so far, so good as things have held fairly to form with the brackets. The top guys Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick have all reached the last 16 without the loss of a set, and they are all playing today! What a line-up!
The only real early upsets belonged to the French who saw Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon, my man Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet all flamed out meekly.
Of the top guys after two matches, Nadal is still looking like the man to beat but the Spaniard will meet David Nalbandian in a tricky fourth round clash tonight.
No. 2 seed Federer appeared scratchy in a second round win over Marc Giquel. Today, he’ll have to deal with the volatile Fernando Gonzalez, a much tougher task than either Gicquel or his third round victim, Ivo Karlovic. This will be a good test of where the Swiss’s game is at.
Roddick got through in fine form last night over the squirrelly Nicolas Kiefer. Sounds like the grainy court is really taking to Andy’s serve, but from the backcourt the American is hardly making much of a dent, and that’s not a good sign. I do, however, give Roddick high marks for that F-You bomb he fired at Daniel Koellerer in that second set tiebreak. Just fabulous.
Roddick now gets David Ferrer late this afternoon. Ferrer is one of the best returners in the game and he’s beaten Andy before at IW, but I think Roddick get through here.
Djokovic also hasn’t looked especially good, but the defending champ has survived and advanced, and that’s what counts in the end. Novak will face Stan Wawrinka with a possible rematch with Roddick ahead.
Also today, we have a John Isner sighting! The guy’s hard to miss, but he’s been a non-factor on the ATP circuit since the D.C. run a few summers ago. The 6-foot-9 Bulldog has served his way through Christophe Rochus, Monfils and yesterday Safin. (Horrible loss for Monfils by the way! Horrible!). But I think his run ends today again Juan Martin Del Potro. DelPo’s been sluggish this week, but his height should neutralize of some Isner’s service hop.
I also like Fernando Verdasco over Phil Kohlschrieber, Murray over Tommy Robredo and Igor Andreev to put a stop to Ivan Ljubicic.
Overall, a great day of tennis is in store. If you are in the U.S. you can watch on Fox Sports Net (and yes, with that comes Justin Gimelstob) starting 4pm ET with Federer and Gonzalez.
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