World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is back in Indian Wells, where he will begin his fortnight on Saturday afternoon in an attempt to build on his impressive start to 2015. Djokovic will come up against the entertaining Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, whom he holds a 7-0 head-to-head record against. However, this will be their first meeting since the Miami Masters in 2012.
The top seed is coming off a near-perfect start to his 2015 season, as he won the Australian Open with a victory over Andy Murray in the final, then went on to finish runner-up to Roger Federer in Dubai. He also found time to help his country advance to the quarter-final round of the Davis Cup.
Apart from this being an important tournament for Djokovic, he is particularly excited to have his family along for the trip, as his son will get to watch him play live for the first time.
“[Stefan is] here actually and both dogs are here,” Djokovic said in his pre-tournament press conference on Thursday. “It’s amazing to be a father… to become a parent, to share that joy of raising a child with your wife. Of course, the dogs are there. We consider them children… They love Stefan and Stefan loves them back… We work as a big family.”
Djokovic will begin his campaign against Marcos Baghdatis, who started his week at Indian Wells with a victory over Jiri Vesely. The Cypriot and former Grand Slam finalist actually won the match via retirement, but was leading 6-3, 1-1 before the Czech was forced to surrender the encounter. In the 49 minutes of actual court time, Baghdatis hit 3 aces, won 60% of his first service points and converted three break points to earn the victory.
This marks the eighth time that Djokovic and Baghdatis will meet on the professional tour, with Djokovic leading the series with a 7-0 mark. Their last meeting took place three years ago at the Miami Master but it is unlikely that that will affect the predicted scoreline.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Straight Sets