Beginning the night session on Sunday at Indian Wells is a matchup between Juan Martin Del Potro and young Australian Alex de Minaur. de Minaur was another who thrived at junior level, making the Wimbledon final and holding a ranking of No.2. His 2018 has seen him move into the top 150 as he looks to establish himself at the top level.
Del Potro is a one-time finalist at Indian Wells, having lost in three sets to Rafael Nadal in three sets. Having had several injury setbacks over the years, it is a great thing to see him back solidly in the top 10 and ready to challenge the big stars once more. He already has two finals this year, losing in Auckland and winning in Acapulco just a few weeks ago. More impressively, his win in Acapulco saw him defeat three top 10 players in a row to take home the title – Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Kevin Anderson.
de Minaur burst onto the scene in January with two big runs at his home tournaments in Australia. He picked up 6 top-50 wins on his way to the semi final in Brisbane and the final of Sydney. He couldn’t take that form into Melbourne though, losing in round one. After blowing a break lead in the final set in his opener against Jan Lennard Struff here, he came through in a tiebreak to advance.
“I’m very positive with my level of tennis at the moment, and I want to stay focused just on my first match and then see if I can go far in this tournament,” Del Potro said before the tournament. “But I think that the most important thing is to try to stay calm and go step-by-step.”
All eyes will be on the projected round four match with Novak Djokovic but both players will need to win one more match after today to make that a reality.
Prediction – Juan Martin Del Potro in straight sets