Big 3-Less Indian Wells Led By Alcaraz, Medvedev, Defending Champion Fritz

by Staff | March 7th, 2023, 12:34 am
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With no Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal, odds are strong a new Indian Wells champion will be crowned in less than two weeks.

The tournament, which begins on Wednesday, still boasts 18 of the Top 20 players plus defending champion Taylor Fritz and former winners Cameron Norrie and Dominic Thiem.

But the tournament favorites are the red-hot Daniil Medvedev who comes in off three straight titles and 14 straight match wins, plus Carlos Alcaraz who made the semifinals last year, though is nursing a leg injury. If Alcaraz wins the title, he’ll return to No. 1.

The 19-year-old Alcaraz leads the way among the seeds: 1 Carlos Alcaraz, 2 Stefanos Tsitsipas, 3 Casper Ruud, 4 Taylor Fritz, 5 Daniil Medvedev, 6 Andrey Rublev, 7 Holger Rune, 8 Felix Auger Aliassime, 9 Hubert Hurkacz, 10 Cameron Norrie, 11 Jannik Sinner, 12 Alexander Zverev, 13 Karen Khachanov, 14 Frances Tiafoe, 15 Pablo Carreno Busta and 16 Alex De Minaur.

CARLOS ALCARAZ QUARTER
Seeds: 1 Alcaraz, 8 Auger Aliassime, 9 Hurkacz, 15 Carreno Busta, 17 Paul, 24 Evans, 27 Cerundolo, 31 Griekspoor
Floaters: Murray, Draper, Etcheverry, Mmoh, Sock, Holt
Notable openers: Tomas Martin Etcheverry-Andy Murray
Projected 3R matches: 1 Alcaraz – 31 Griekspoor, 24 Evans – 15 Carreno Busta, 9 Hurkacz – 17 Paul, 27 Cerundolo – 8 Auger Aliassime
Notes: 2022 semifinalist Alcaraz returns to hard courts and to the U.S. where he had his greatest success. But how is the leg? The teen has a great draw with Paul or Auger-Aliassime among his big threats. Evans and Murray are lurking as well.

TAYLOR FRITZ QUARTER
Seeds: 4 Fritz, 7 Rune, 11 Sinner, 16 De Minaur, 18 Coric, 19 Musetti, 26 Kecmanovic, 30 Baez,
Floaters: Shelton, Gasquet, Wolf,Mcdonald, Fognini, Wawrinka, Thiem
Notable openers: Alex Molcan-Albert Ramos Vinolas, Dominic Thiem-Adrian Mannarino, Ben Shelton-Fabio Fognini
Projected 3R matches: 4 Fritz – 30 Baez, 18 Coric – 16 De Minaur, 11 Sinner – 19 Musetti, 26 Kecmanovic – 7 Rune
Notes: Odds are stacked Fritz won’t repeat and the American will have a tough road with either Fognini or Shelton to start. The Sinner-Rune fourth round could be a cracker. Former champion Thiem also returns.

CASPER RUUD QUARTER
Seeds: 3 Ruud, 5 Medvedev, 12 Zverev, 13 Khachanov, 22 Bautista Agut, 23 Davidovich Fokina, 28 Van De Zandschulp, 29 Nishioka
Floaters: Schwartzman, Isner, Nakashima, Ruusuvuori, Basilashvili
Notable openers: John Isner-Brandon Nakashima
Projected 3R matches: 5 Medvedev – 28 Van De Zandschulp, 22 Bautista Agut – 12 Zverev, 13 Khachanov – 23 Davidovich Fokina, 29 Nishioka – 3 Ruud
Notes: It’s been a struggle for Ruud who is back in American for the first time since his US Open final. But Medvedev is the man though will have a tough opener against the Isner-Nakashima winner. Zverev is there but far from in-form.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS QUARTER
Seeds: 6 Rublev, 10 Norrie, 14 Tiafoe, 20 Berrettini, 21 Dimitrov, 25 Shapovalov, 32 Cressy,
Floaters: Bublik, Lehecka, Monfils
Notable openers: Jiri Lehecka-Arthur Rinderknech
Projected 3R matches: 6 Rublev – 25 Shapovalov, 20 Berrettini – 10 Norrie, 14 Tiafoe – 21 Dimitrov, 32 Cressy – 2 Tsitsipas
Notes: Fairly open section with Norrie a former winner playing very well. Rublev just made the Dubai final and Tiafoe’s a threat. Rublev-Lehecka and Tsitsipas-Monfils will be fun.

The projected R16 matches:
No. 1 Alcaraz – 15 Carreno Busta
No. 9 Hurkacz – 8 Auger Aliassime
No. 4 Fritz – 16 De Minaur
No. 11 Sinner – 7 Rune

No. 5 Medvedev – 12 Zverev
No. 13 Khachanov – 3 Ruud
No. 6 Rublev – 10 Norrie
14 Tiafoe – 2 Tsitsipas.

The projected quarterfinals: No. 1 Alcaraz is projected to meet 8 Auger Aliassime, No. 4 Fritz – 7 Rune, No. 5 Medvedev – 3 Ruud, and 6 seed Rublev – 2 Tsitsipas.

The semifinals could see Carlos Alcaraz-Taylor Fritz and Daniil Medvedev-Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Former champions: Fritz, Thiem, Norrie
Former finalists: Murray, Wawrinka, Isner, Basilashvili

Last year, (20) Taylor Fritz stunned (4) Rafael Nadal 6-3 7-6(5) for the biggest moment of the American’s career.

The tournament has seen six different winners in its last six editions.

LAST 10 INDIAN WELLS CHAMPIONS/FINALS
2022 Taylor Fritz d Rafael Nadal 6-3 7-6(5)
2021 Cameron Norrie d Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6 6-4 6-1
2019 Dominic Thiem d Roger Federer 3-6 6-3 7-5
2018 Juan Martin del Potro d Roger Federer 6-4 6-7(8) 7-6(2)
2017 Roger Federer d Stan Wawrinka 6-4 7-5
2016 Novak Djokovic d Milos Raonic 6-2 6-0
2015 Novak Djokovic d Roger Federer 6-3 6-7(5) 6-2
2014 Novak Djokovic d Roger Federer 3-6 6-3 7-6(3)
2013 Rafael Nadal d Juan Martin del Potro 4-6 6-3 6-4
2012 Roger Federer d John Isner 7-6(7) 6-3


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