Wednesday 14 March 2012

Indian Wells 4th Round (ATP) 2012 Preview - Top Half of Draw

Fourth round action at BNP Paribas kicks off today, 2 of the top 5 players have already gone home, the players being Murray and Ferrer. 6 of the top 10 players will be in action, led by no.1 Djokovic, for a spot in the QF. There are some intriguing battles lined up for us. With Ferrer gone this is Almagro's chance to become the first player in 2012 to win 20 matches. Let us have a quick look at the bottom half of the draw what we have in store. For preview of the bottom half of the draw please go here.

1- Djokovic (1) vs Andujar

Description Djokovic Andujar
Match Record this year   12-1    6-6
Overall H2H      1      0
Hard Courts H2H      0      0
This is Djokovic's 7th appearance at Indian Wells, and during his past 6 visists he has made it to the 4th round or better, the only time in past years he has lost at this stage was in 2010 when he lost in straight sets to then 26th ranked Ljubicic (Ljubicic went on to win the title that year). This is Andujar's 2nd appearance at Indian Wells and his best showing so far. Andujar is 0-1 against top 10 players this year, and 1-7 in his career (his lone win coming over Verdasco, who was ranked no.9 then, last March in Miami). He is 0-1 against reiging no.1s (a straight set loss to Nadal in the second round of Roland Garros) and to add to that he lost his only previous encounter against Djokovic in straight sets in the first round of Umag in 2007. Andujar has a nearly unsurmountable mountain in front of him in the form of Djokovic, but he is relishing this opportunity to play against him. "I’m a better player right now, but he is also a better player than he was when I played him, so I’ll try to enjoy it,” he said. “He’s World No. 1, so I have nothing to lose."

Djokovic in straight sets.

2- Berdych (7) vs Almagro (12)

Description Berdych Almagro
Match Record this year    16-3    19-5
Overall H2H      5       2
Hard Courts H2H      2       0
The pair's most recent encounter in the 4th round of Australian Open was a worth watching match, however it ended up with Berdych refusing to shake hand with Almgaro at the end of the hand. Under normal circumstances tripple 6 will get you through the match at Grand slams but that was not the case in that encounter. Almagro won the first set 6-4 but lost the next 3 in tie-break. (Berdych accused Almagro of purposely playing a shot at his body, which hit Berdych and he fell on court. Berdych later on did not shake hand with Almagro after the match). Almagro's history at Indian Wells has not been good as well. This is his fifth showing here and he has made it to the 4th round only once before (in 2010 when he retired in his 4th round match against Murray while trailing by a set and 0-1 in the second set). Berdych's history at Indian Wells has been comparatively better. This is his 8th appearance here at Indian Wells and he is made it to the 4th round in 3 of his past 7 appearances, however on only on of those 3 ocassions he made it out of the 4th round to reach the QF. Almagro is 0-2 against the top 10 players so far this year. Will he be able to reverse the results and win this one?

Berdych in straight sets

3- Simon (13) vs Harrison

Description Simon Harrison
Match Record this year   9-6      9-5
Overall H2H    0       0
Hard Courts H2H    0       0
Harrison is also coming off a good win over Troicki, though he was sloopy in his win over Lopez but he has matched his best showing here in Indian Wells. Harrison has some fond memories from last year's Indian Wells, when he made it to the 4th round before falling to Roger Federer. He will have a shot at making it to the his first QF here at Indian Wells when he faces Simon. Although Harrison has won 9 matches coming into this match, he has yet to post a win over top 20 player this year. This is Simon's 6th appearance at Indian Wells and it is the first time that he has made it to the 4th round here. Coming into his match against Wawrinka, Simon was  0-3 so far against top 40 players and had lost 3 of his past 5 matches, but he did change all that with a straight sets win over Wawrinka and he must be feeling good about it. I have a feeling Harrison will take this match but for the time being I will stick with Simon.

Simon in 3 sets.

4- Isner (11) vs Ebden

Description Isner Ebden
Match Record this year 10-4   7-5
Overall H2H   0    0
Hard Courts H2H   0    0
This is Isner's 5ht appearance at Indian Wells and he has never made it out of the 4th round, but all his 4 losses on his previous 4 showings here have come at the hands of top 8 players, he has yet to loose a match at Indian Wells to a player ranked outside top 8. This year's Indian Wells has brought a lot of good memories for Ebden,it is here that he has got his first career top 10 win , so he must be runnign high on confidence. Both players will be gunning to make it to Indian Wells QF for the first time in their careers. Given Isner's recent form, it will be the best chance for isner to make it to his Indian Wells QF.

Isner in straight sets.

Which underdogs will prevail today against the favourites? Which upset do you see? Keep us posted. Tennis courts are like battle grounds with no-where to hide. Enjoy :)

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