One of the most interesting matches of the day sees 6th seed Tomas Berdych take on rising star Borna Coric, in what could be a tightly fought contest later today. This match is scheduled to be the fourth match on Stadium 1, and the winner will face 17th seed Bernard Tomic or 12th seed Milos Raonic in the fourth round.
So Far In Indian Wells
One clear advantage that Berdych has is that he has had more rest in California, benefiting from a bye in the first round due to his seeded status. In his second round match, Berdych was tested but was pretty comfortable, easing past the returning Juan Martin del Potro 7-6, 6-2. A similar performance today would put him in a good position to win this clash.
Whilst Coric hasn't benefited from a bye, he has won his first two matches comfortably and is unlikely to have used up too much energy coming into this encounter. He was tested in his opening clash, but eventually eased past Lucas Pouille 6-2, 7-5. However he was even more impressive in his second round match, storming past 29th seed Thomaz Bellucci for the loss of just four games. If Coric plays just as well today, he has a decent chance of pulling off the upset.
Whilst Berdych does have the advantage of some extra rest, this will be a much bigger test than the del Potro clash. Coric is player with plenty of matches behind him this season and will be much more match-ready than del Potro was. The 6th seed will need to serve well against Coric, who is a good returner, and should look to try to hang in points that the Croatian is dictating, as Berdych is arguably the stronger of the two and should win the majority of the rallies. The Czech star should also look to attack Coric's serve as much as possible.
Coric will probably know that Berdych is the slightly stronger of the two players, so he should look to dictate points early on and try to finish them as soon as possible, though he must be careful to not try too hard to force winners. The Croatian should look to attack Berdych's game as much as possible and is arguably the better mover of the two, so it could be worth him trying to vary his game and play drop shots and volleys.
The two have only met once before, with Berdych easing to a 6-3, 6-2 win in Halle last year. However Coric has arguably improved since then, so it should be closer today.
This should be a really tight match, if both play as well as they have so far, and it could be a really high-quality match if they are near their best. Berdych is the stronger of the two physically and should be able to edge this clash, though do not rule Coric out of this match.
Prediction: Tomas Berdych in three sets