Previewing the best matches in the men’s draw at Indian Wells

Chris Chase
Busted Racquet

Busted Racquet selects the best possible matchups in the men's draw for each round at Indian Wells.

1st round

Ryan Harrison vs. Flavio Cipolla, Ivan Dodig vs. Grigor Dimitrov, Bernard Tomic vs. Gilles Muller

With all 32 seeds having first-round byes, the early pickings are slim. The three young guns -- Harrison, Dimitrov and Tomic -- will have tough opening tests if they want to advance to a matchup with a seed in the second round. (As an added bonus, Dimitrov announced Wednesday that he will be getting coached by Busted Racquet contributor Patrick Mouratoglou.)

2nd round

Andy Roddick vs. Ivo Karlovic

Come for the big serves, stay for the possible ballgirl collisions.

3rd round

Roger Federer vs. Milos Raonic

Canada's next great hope (or is it the country's first great hope?) against the possibly fading, possibly rising legend. I'd imagine this will be in a prime slot for Tennis Channel.


4th round

Mardy Fish vs. John Isner

Isner could see Nicolas Mahut in the third round (they played once, right?), while Fish is slated to see Julien Benneteau. If they advance (and that's a big "if" for the struggling), it could set up an All-American fourth round.

Quarterfinal

Novak Djokovic vs. Tomas Berdych

Assuming he gets past Raonic, Roger Federer could see David Ferrer (12-0 lifetime) or Juan Martin Del Potro (who he's owned recently) in the quarters. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga could face Nadal, but Tsonga's record in 2012 isn't particularly impressive. His victory over Gael Monfils in the finals of Doha (a final he advanced to after Roger Federer withdrew) is the only victory he has over a player in the top 45. That leaves Djokovic-Berdych by default.

Semifinal

Novak Djokovic vs. Andy Murray

Their semifinal in Dubai was almost as fun as their semifinal in Melbourne. Who will win the rubber match?

Final

Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal

Nadal would love a chance to exorcise his Djokovic demons before the clay court season. If he does it during the European clay swing, doubters will say he's winning on his best surface. Defeating Djokovic on a hard court at Indian Wells still wouldn't be the same as besting him in a Grand Slam, but it'd be a start.

Predictions

Semifinals: Djokovic vs. Isner, Federer vs. Nadal

Final: Federer over Djokovic


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