It’s another very busy day in the desert of Indian Wells. The many tennis stars on display Tuesday include Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki.
Djokovic gets thing started on center court against Ernests “The Enigma” Gulbis. Djokovic is a perfect 13-0 on the year and winner of his last 15 while The Enigman is having his best week in tennis since last spring – or least this is the first time he’s back in the news. It should be an entertaining match that I expect Djokovic to win.
Federer should also face little resistance in the form of Juan Ignacio Chela. Federer lost in this very round a year ago to Marcos Baghdatis but he’s owned the Argentine winning 10 of 11 sets in five career victories.
Roddick and Isner lock up tonight in the best match of the day. Roddick is the more experienced guy and is in better form. But Isner beat Andy in their last meeting at the US Open in 2009. I think Roddick is out for revenge tonight and he’ll get it in a tough one.
“It’s one of those matches where you can play badly and win or you can be in good form and lose,” Roddick said of facing Isner. “It’s a scary prospect. A lot of it depends on his serve, you know, how many looks you’re going to be able to get at it. You have to make sure and stay tough and take care of your side of the net and hope the opportunities come.”
Also, Milos Raonic and Ryan Harrison meet in their first of what may be many pro tour meetings. Raonic has again been impressive this week and I think he’s got too much firepower for the 18-year-old Harrison.
“He’s playing great and he’s been playing great tennis,” Harrison said of Milos. “I have watched him play. He’s made a lot of improvements in his game, especially on the ground. I remember him from juniors. We played three times in juniors. I won twice; he won once. But at that time, I mean, we’re talking juniors, so we’re talking years ago. He’s a big guy. He’s finally reeled in his groundstrokes, and he’s playing great tennis now.”
Marin Cilic v. Stan Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet v. Jurgen Melzer highlight the two other Stadium 2 matches. Tomas Berdych is quietly also in action.
For the women, Clijsters is on against Bartoli, Wozniacki plays the very dangerous Alisa Kleybanova and Sharapova meets the suddenly in-form Dinara Safina tonight.
But maybe the best women’s match pits the blood battle between Serbs Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic. That should be a good one and maybe the best of all matches on the schedule. I recall watching Jankovic do a mock Ivanovic fist pump last spring after a win over her countrywoman.
On Monday, things went according to form with the lone exception being Robin Soderling’s upset loss to Kohlschreiber. Rafael Nadal continued to rip through an easy draw. With Soderling’s exit due to a bad foot, things are suddenly looking very good for Juan Martin Del Potro. Delpo now faces Phil Kohlschreiber to play either Sam Querrey or Tommy Robredo. Could a Delpo v. Nadal SF be in the cards? I think so.
And speaking of Robredo, the Spaniard destroyed Donald Young 6-0, 6-4 yesterday. How much worse does Andy Murray’s loss to Young look now?
Matches begin again at 2pm with Tennis Channel broadcasting live coverage.
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
 E Gulbis (LAT) vs  N Djokovic (SRB) – ATP
Not Before 1:00 PM
 M Bartoli (FRA) vs  K Clijsters (BEL) – WTA
 J Chela (ARG) vs  R Federer (SUI) – ATP
 C Wozniacki (DEN) vs  A Kleybanova (RUS) – WTA
Not Before 7:00 PM
 A Roddick (USA) vs  J Isner (USA) – ATP
Not Before 8:30 PM
D Safina (RUS) vs  M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA
STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
 J Jankovic (SRB) vs  A Ivanovic (SRB) – WTA
 M Cilic (CRO) vs  S Wawrinka (SUI) – ATP
 R Gasquet (FRA) vs  J Melzer (AUT) – ATP
[WC] M Raonic (CAN) vs [WC] R Harrison (USA) – ATP
L Dlouhy (CZE) / P Hanley (AUS) vs M Lopez (ESP) / R Nadal (ESP) – ATP
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs A Dolgopolov (UKR) / X Malisse (BEL) – ATP
STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
 T Berdych (CZE) vs  T Bellucci (BRA) – ATP
 V Troicki (SRB) vs  M Llodra (FRA) – ATP
 F Schiavone (ITA) vs  S Peer (ISR) – WTA
[WC] J Jankovic (SRB) / A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs  V Azarenka (BLR) / M Kirilenko (RUS) – WTA – After Suitable Rest
 N Petrova (RUS) vs S Peng (CHN) – WTA
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