Indian Wells Preview: Alcaraz Takes On Draper, Medvedev-Zverev Rivalry Resumes | ATP Tour

Indian Wells Preview: Alcaraz Takes On Draper, Medvedev-Zverev Rivalry Resumes | ATP Tour

All eight quarter-final spots are up for grabs on Tuesday in Indian Wells, with the 16 remaining players in the draw looking for a fourth-round victory on an action-packed day in 2023 BNP Paribas Open.

Top seed Carlos Alcaraz continued his campaign in the opening ATP Masters 1000 event of the year — and his bid to return to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings — against the big-hitting lefty Jack Draper. Daniel Medvedev aims to extend his 16-match winning streak in a heavyweight clash against Alexander Zverevwhile the 11th seed Jannik Sinner face of a rejuvenated Stan Wawrinka.

In the Top 10 stars Taylor Fritz, Andrey Rublev and Felix Auger-Aliassime also in fourth-round action, previews a mouth-watering Day 7 in the California desert.

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[1] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs. Jack Draper (GBR)

For the third tournament in a row, Alcaraz will take on a British lefty. The Spanish fought to 1-1 Cameron Norrie on clay in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro in February, but the powerful Draper stands in the way of Alcaraz on Tuesday as he aims to keep his Indian Wells title bid on track.

The pair met for the first time on Tour in October in Basel, where Alcaraz overcame a fast start by Draper to secure a three-set victory. The 19-year-old is more than aware of the danger presented by the World No. 56 Draper, who is considered one of the most exciting young players on Tour and has yet to drop a set in his Indian Wells debut.

“I know he’s a good player,” said Draper’s Alcaraz after the Spaniard beat him Tallon Griekspoor in the third round on Monday for the 100th tour-level win of his career. “He plays well. He has defeated great opponents like [Daniel] Evans and Andy [Murray]. I know that I have to play my best, give my 100% on the court… It will be a very difficult match and I will enjoy it [it].”

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Draper certainly has the weapons to hurt Alcaraz when the pair begin Tuesday night’s session at Stadium 1. On Monday, the 21-year-old navigated windy desert conditions to beat the other former World No. 1 to Murray, and the Briton’s serve and forehand could be particularly important if he makes enough dents in Alcaraz’s stout defense to seal the biggest win of his career according to the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

“I want to keep on trying to impose my game and use my weapons,” said Draper, who reached his first Masters 1000 quarter-final in Montreal last year, after his third-round win. “It’s not easy in these conditions… It’s a bit windy and obviously playing against Andy, he makes it incredibly difficult for you. It’s something I’m looking to improve with my coach and it’s definitely starting to pay off a little more. .”

Draper will likely need to find his best again if he is to stop Alcaraz from winning his third Masters 1000 title this fortnight, however, and the Spaniard will be doubly motivated heading into Indian Wells. By claiming the trophy, Alcaraz leapfrogged Novak Djokovic to get the No. 1 spot in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time since January.

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[5] Daniel Medvedev vs. [12] Alexander Zverev (Germany)

Medvedev and Zverev share a 6-6 ATP Head2Head series record. Interestingly, all 12 of the their previous tour-level meetings is played on hard courts.

While that trend will continue in Tuesday’s fourth-round clash at Stadium 1, it will be the first time the pair have faced the unique desert conditions of Indian Wells. Zverev sealed a straight-sets victory in the pair’s latest tour-level clash in 2021 Nitto ATP Finalsbut Medvedev sees Tuesday’s encounter as a fundamentally different contest because of the relatively slow California courts.

“Every match against a top player is a new beginning,” Mevedev said after the loss Ilya Ivashka On Sunday. “Every match that he tries to adapt, I try to adapt. I remember he did very well in Turin to beat me… He served well… [But I think that] is relatively insignificant here in Indian Wells. I am sure we will have many rallies. It comes down to who makes the best shot to try to throw your opponent off balance, which is not easy to do here.”

Medvedev arrives in Indian Wells having lifted three ATP Tour trophies in three weeks (Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai) and the 27-year-old is still undefeated. Brandon Nakashima and Ivashka in California to extend his winning streak to 16 tour-level matches. That red-hot run may make Tuesday’s clash seem like a daunting prospect for Zverev, but it will also serve as a useful barometer of his progress since returning to the Tour in January after missing seven months with a serious ankle injury.

“Daniel is probably the best, maybe the second best player after Novak, right now,” Zverev said, after the five-time Masters 1000 champion stopped. Emil Ruusuvuori in the third round. “I’m sure I’m not the favorite. Especially where I come from and where he comes from. But we always have interesting matches so hopefully this will be another one.”

[11] Jannik Sinner vs. Stan Wawrinka (SUI)

Probably not much to hold back from the baseline in the last match of the day at Stadium 3 count Jannik Sinner and Stan Wawrinka meet at an ATP Masters 1000 event for the first time.

The 11th-seeded Sinner is in the fourth round for the third year in a row at Indian Wells but has yet to advance to the quarter-finals. He is keen to build on his 14-3 start to the 2023 season, which included a run to his seventh ATP Tour title in Montpellier, by treading new ground in ‘Tennis Paradise’.

After losing his first two tour-level matches against former World No. 3 and 2017 Indian Wells finalist Wawrinka, the Sinner has clinched victories over the past year. Wimbledon and in Rotterdam in Feburary to level the pair’s ATP Head2Head series at 2-2. Wawrinka will be confident after securing the seventh seed Holger Rune in a tense third-round clash in California, however, as he bids for his first Masters 1000 quarter-final appearance since 2020 Rolex Paris Masters.

Also in Action…

A trio of Americans are looking to ride home support to a quarter-final spot on Tuesday, and all three will face opponents they have never faced at Tour-level. Their highest ranking is World No. 5 and defending champion Taylor Fritzwho dropped just three games against Sebastian Baez in his third round match. The 25-year-old meets World No. 84 Marton Fucsovics at Stadium 1.

Tommy Paul chasing his first quarter-final appearance in Indian Wells, but the 17th seed has a tough assignment against the eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassimewhile the 14th seed Frances Tiafoe will compete in the Chilean qualifier Alejandro Tabilo.

Opening ATP action at Stadium 3 sees the power of the sixth seed Andrey Rublev up against the consistency of 10th seed and 2021 champion Norrie in an intriguing clash of gamestyles. At Stadium 4, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina the inspired run of the looks like a snap Cristian Garinwho won all 10 sets he played in Indian Wells over the past two weeks in two qualifying and three main-draw matches.