No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas hasn’t had an easy route to the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals this week, but has battled past tricky opponents to reach the last eight in the Palm Desert for the first time in his career.
Unfortunately for the Greek, it won’t get much easier against No. 28 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili, who comes into his own maiden quarterfinal appearance in Indian Wells on the back of two impressive wins, saving match point against Albert Ramos Viñolas in the third round and then bringing his best against Karen Khachanov in the fourth round.
The pair have met two times at the ATP Tour level before, both in 2019 and both going the way of the current World No. 3. Neither of those matches were straightforward, however, as Tsitsipas came back from a set down to win in Beijing and played a tight four-setter earlier that year at the Australian Open.
Tsitsipas, who has been below his best but battling hard, will need to find an extra gear against Basilashvili’s heavy hitting if he hopes to reach Semifinal Saturday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The Gerogian, on the other hand, is aiming for his first career Masters 1000 semifinal, by far his best result at this level.
Taylor Fritz will be looking to keep his in-form run at the BNP Paribas Open going on Friday afternoon when he takes on No. 3 Alexander Zverev, who is by far the most successful player at the Masters 1000 level left in the draw this week in Tennis Paradise. With an impressive five Masters titles under his belt (as well as a gold medal in Tokyo this year), the German is a top contender for the title and looked to be in great form himself against Gael Monfils in the fourth round, cruising into his maiden Indian Wells quarterfinal 6-1, 6-3.
Fritz is also making his debut in the Final Eight at the prestigious Southern California tennis event, albeit with less success at the Masters level at other events. Adamant in his press conferences this week that he feels he’s turning a corner with his game as he continues to develop into an elite player, the California native has certainly played that way.
Fritz scored ground-breaking upsets over seeded Italians Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner in the third and fourth rounds, respectively, and will give Zverev everything he can handle in their quarterfinal clash. For his part, the German World No. 4 has had a tougher time with his own draw, dropping a set to Jenson Brooksby in his opener and scraping past a resurgent Andy Murray in the third round.
Expect big hitting off both wings from the two towering competitors, with willingness to come into the net and close off points being the decisive factor in a high-octane quarterfinal.