How sweet it is! On Tuesday at the BNP Paribas Open, fans will witness tennis’ version of March Madness. With singles draws whittled down to 16 on both the men’s and the women’s side, coveted quarterfinals slots will be on the line all day long.
Read on for a bite-sized preview of each mouthwatering matchup…
Will Carlitos have his way with up-and-coming Jack Draper, the young gun who shelved Andy Murray’s plans at a deep run by knocking off his idol on Monday night? The pair played each other close last year in Basel with Alcaraz, who reached the Indian Wells semifinals last year, edging through in three.
25-year-old Tommy Paul has been having his best year since turning pro, reaching his maiden major semifinal and cracking the Top 20. Auger-Aliassime hasn’t hit his stride yet in 2023, but he is further along in his trajectory and more experienced in these types of matches.
Taylor’s on a tear, but Marton’s got muscles. Fritz, the defending champ, has won eight straight matches at Indian Wells, and 12 of his last 13. It will take every ounce of strength in Fucsovic’s shredded body to pull the upset – the Hungarian is a talent, but only 1-9 lifetime against the Top 5.
Stan is the man with a revival plan at Indian Wells, turning back the clock to reach the BNP Paribas Open round of 16 for the first time since 2017. But Sinner, the young Italian upstart with a jaw-dropping game, is as gifted as they come – and getting better every week.
Four-time Masters 1000 champion Medvedev rides a sixteen match winning streak into his 13th meeting with a resurgent Alexander Zverev, who is just beginning to tap his best tennis nine months after ankle surgery. Zverev likes the Indian Wells conditions better, and will need to use that to his advantage.
Davidovich Fokina, a veritable human highlight reel from Spain, is the favorite on paper, but don’t sleep on Garin, who is displaying the form that once took him inside the Top 20 once again.
2021 champion Cameron Norrie knows his way around the slow hard courts of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. But how will he handle the relentless power that Rublev delivers off of both wings? Expect a physical battle with myriad ebbs and flows.
Is it Big Foe’s time to shine at Indian Wells? On paper Frances Tiafoe‘s draw looks like a gift from the tennis gods, but Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo, a talented 187th-ranked southpaw who plays a fiery brand of tennis, will look to spoil the party.
Emma Raducanu has stepped back into the limelight brilliantly at Indian Wells, earning her two biggest wins since her fairy tale US Open title run in 2021, but she’ll have to contend with a next-level juggernaut – facing Swiatek is the toughest task in women’s tennis at the moment – in her next match in the California desert.
Caroline Garcia has been a pillar of consistency in 2023, demonstrating her Top 5 chops by regularly going deep in any draw she enters. The 5th-ranked Frenchwoman will bid for her first quarterfinal at the BNP Paribas Open against Cirstea, a former World No.21 who has now reached the round of 16 in successive seasons here.
Two unseeded Czechs with wonderfully eclectic and diverse games, each as well-crafted as a fine Pilsner from the land from which they hail. It should be a frothy affair.
Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon champion, plays a brutally structured game that tends to take the racquet out of her opponent’s hands. Gracheva, who upset No.8-seeded Daria Kasatkina to reach the round of 16, only managed three games against Rybakina in their only previous meeting. A tall task if there ever was one…
Pliskova has taken the last two meetings from Sakkari. The Greek, a runner-up at Indian Wells last year, has struggled with consistency in her first two matches. She’ll need a better performance on Tuesday.
“It’s so weird to think that I’m like three in the world”@JLPegula is leading the American charge, but don't expect it to change her 👇#TennisParadise pic.twitter.com/IknBzQt7It
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 14, 2023
Kvitova, who survived a wild ride to defeat Jelena Ostapenko in third round action, has had Pegula’s number in the past. But Pegula’s steady rise to the top of the sport is no fluke – she’ll put her best foot forward against the two-time Wimbledon champ as the favorite.
Four years ago, Peterson gave then 14-year-old Gauff an “old-fashioned whooping” in an ITF event in Michigan. Tuesday could be time for Coco’s revenge.
2023 Australian Open champion Sabalenka owns the lifetime edge over Krejcikova but it was the Czech who cruised past Sabalenka last month in Dubai in three sets.