How big of a day is at the Indian Wells tennis masters today? How does having the last 24 men’s grand slam champions in action sound? Pretty good, right? And that what we are getting as all eight fourth round men’s matches are slated for Wednesday. And the night session is rare desert diamond find with a back-to-backer of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The day session, which gets underway in an hour, features Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick and Juan Martin Del Potro.
Sam Querrey opens the fourth round play on center against Tommy Robredo. What an opportunity for Querrey who’s finally picking himself up after a dismal six months. It’s a match that Querrey should win but often with this likable California kid these are the ones he loses. But I think he plays well enough today.
Of the top players, Djokovic has looked the best. While Nadal and Federer have feasted on lesser foes, Djokovic has consecutively crushed Andrey Golubev and Ernests Gulbis. Today, the Serb meets his countryman Viktor Troicki. It was Troicki who choked against Djokovic last summer during the US Open first round. Had Troicki closed that match out who knows where Novak would be right now, but I don’t think he’d be riding a 16-match win streak with a perfect 14-0 record on the year. Novak’s unstoppable runs continues.
“I cannot ask for a better start of the year,” Djokovic said after destroying Gulbis 6-0, 6-1. “I’m just building up on that confidence and continuing to play well, and feeling up from that run that I have from Davis Cup final. I have been playing great tennis, best tennis of my life. So I’m just trying to play better and better each match, you know, and then maintain, you know, very consistent level of performance. That’s all.”
In what could be the best match of the day, Roddick battles Frenchman Richard Gasquet. Roddick has been steady and solid in wins over countryman James Blake and yesterday John Isner. Gasquet beat Roddick at Wimbledon and definitely has the firepower and the talent to do it again this afternoon. But I think Roddick’s defense forces Gasquet into a enough errors this time around.
Tonight, Nadal should cruise over former NCAA champion Somdev Devvarman and in maybe the most interesting match of the day I think Federer will end Ryan Harrison’s run.
Yesterday, Harrison ignited the Indian Wells crowd with a three-set thrilling win over Milos Raonic. At just 18 Harrison has what looks to be a complete game: good serve, good ground strokes, no fear of the net, good court sense, is composed, has quickness and has all the advantages that come with being an American (money, home tournaments, wildcards, etc). The question I have is what is his go to weapon? Maybe we’ll find out tonight. Harrison will also have to quickly recover from that emotional win to take on Federer.
“Roger is unbelievable,” Harrison said. “He’s done everything that you can accomplish in this sport, and he’s looking to do more. I think the thing that makes him and Rafa so good is the fact that they approach matches like he’s gonna play against me tomorrow, and him and Rafa don’t take those matches lightly. I know he’s gonna come out and give me his best stuff, just like I’m gonna go out and try to give him my best stuff. I’m looking forward to the match, I’m looking forward to playing some of my best tennis, and I have full confidence in myself.”
Also today, I think Delpo gets it done against Phil Kohlschreiber and I like Tomas Berdych over Stan Wawrinka and Ivo Karlovic to beat Albert Montanes.
The women’s draw features just two matches with Ana Ivanovic v. Marion Bartoli and Shahar Peer v. Yanina Wickmayer.
Matches are on Tennis Channel at 2pm.
INDIAN WELLS WEDNESDAY SCHEDULE
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
 S Querrey (USA) vs  T Robredo (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 1:00 PM
 A Ivanovic (SRB) vs  M Bartoli (FRA) – WTA
 V Troicki (SRB) vs  N Djokovic (SRB) – ATP
 A Roddick (USA) vs  R Gasquet (FRA) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
 R Nadal (ESP) vs [Q] S Devvarman (IND) – ATP
[WC] R Harrison (USA) vs  R Federer (SUI) – ATP
STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
 P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs J Del Potro (ARG) – ATP
 T Berdych (CZE) vs  S Wawrinka (SUI) – ATP
 A Montanes (ESP) vs I Karlovic (CRO) – ATP
A Dolgopolov (UKR) / X Malisse (BEL) vs A Murray (GBR) / J Murray (GBR) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
 S Peer (ISR) vs  Y Wickmayer (BEL) – WTA
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