Wednesday’s Round-of-16 action at the BNP Paribas Open will be led by the top three seeds in Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, as well as intriguing face-off between sixth seed Casper Ruud and 11th seed Diego Schwartzman. Here are three matches to keep an eye on:
Diego Schwartzman boasts a 4-2 head-to-head edge against Top-10 newcomer Casper Ruud, though he’s dropped his last two meetings with the Norwegian this season at ATP Masters 1000 events in Monte Carlo and Cincinnati. Both players are through to the Round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open for the first time. Ruud, 22, leads the ATP Tour with five titles in 2021, including his first on hard courts only days ago (def. Cameron Norrie, 6-0, 6-2). He comes into Wednesday’s matchup riding a nine-match winning streak and is attempting to earn his 50th win of the season (49-12). Schwartzman, meanwhile, is trying to reach his sixth career ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal. “I think he’s one of the best on the tour,” said Schwartzman of his recent Laver Cup foe. “Every week, he’s winning tournaments. Right now, it’s very difficult to play against him, because when you’re playing against an opponent who has a lot of confidence, it’s very difficult. I have to improve my tennis. He’s doing everything almost perfect.”
No. 22 seed Alex de Minaur is rounding into form at the right time in Indian Wells. Two of the Aussie’s five ATP Tour singles titles (Antalya and Eastbourne) have come in 2021, and he’s riding high after an inspiring 6-4, 6-2 upset of 13th seed Cristian Garin in Round 3. But Demon, who is trying to reach his first career ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal, is in for a stiff test in No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Greek has won all five of their previous meetings at the tour-level, and now leads the tour with 19 ATP Masters 1000 match wins this season.
Germany’s Sascha Zverev notched his first career win over Andy Murray on Tuesday, and finally owns triumphs over each member of the Big Four. He’ll try to get past another hurdle on Wednesday when he faces Frenchman Gael Monfils, against whom he’s 0-3. Zverev comes in as the favorite, having won 19 of his past 20 matches, including titles at the Tokyo Olympics and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Through to the Round of 16 in Indian Wells for the first time since making his debut in 2016, the World No. 4 is seeking his sixth ATP Masters 1000 title.