There would be yet another blockbuster meeting in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open as the big-serving Nick Kyrgios would face off against arguably the best returner on tour, Novak Djokovic. This match is definitely one of the must-watch on the tenth day of action here in California and would be played not before 3 pm in Stadium 1.
Djokovic’s 2017 so far
Novak Djokovic had a very poor 2017 so far as according to his standards despite winning the title in Doha after saving five match points in his path to the title against Fernando Verdasco in the semifinals before achieving a confidence-boosting victory over world number one Andy Murray in the final. Then, he suffered a shock defeat to Denis Istomin in the second round of the Australian Open, falling in five sets as he failed to defend his title in Melbourne. Receiving a wildcard into the Mexican Open, Djokovic fell in the quarterfinals to his opponent tomorrow, Nick Kyrgios, in their first ever meeting of their careers.
Kyrgios’ 2017 so far
Nick Kyrgios started his season at the Hopman Cup, where he went 2-1 in his singles rubbers. That was his only preparation for the Australian Open, where he wasted match points against Andreas Seppi in five sets only to lose by a score of 8-10 in the decider. Being the defending champion at the Open 13 in Marseille, Kyrgios was defeated by eventual champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three sets and thus failing to defend his title there. Then, Kyrgios reached the semifinals at the Mexican Open which included a huge win over Novak Djokovic in their first match ever. However, he fell to eventual champion Sam Querrey in the next round despite leading by a set.
Djokovic’s run in Indian Wells
Being part of the death quarter in the draw, Djokovic faced a tricky opponent in the second round with Kyle Edmund putting up a spirited display but the Serbian was still able to get the hard-fought victory in straight sets, coming back from a huge deficit in the second set to do so. Then, he achieved a confidence-boosting victory over Juan Martin del Potro, who has caused him troubles throughout his career, by defeating him in three sets and progressing to this round.
Kyrgios’ run in Indian Wells
Kyrgios faced a tricky opponent in his opener as he had to get past through Horacio Zeballos in straight sets before setting up a blockbuster meeting with the up and coming star Alexander Zverev in the third round. There, the Australian earned a surprise straight sets victory as he outclassed the German in every aspect, looking in great form.
Their only previous encounter was this year at the Mexican Open, where Kyrgios triumphed in the tight straight sets meeting after saving two set points in the first set which was decided in a tiebreak. It was an excellent performance by Kyrgios, who managed to hit some consistent 200 km/h serves every single time which left Djokovic helpless and unable to return many of the serves.
The courts here in Indian Wells are much slower than those in Acapulco, which is in Djokovic’s favour as he would have more chances to defend better against the merciless offensive style of play by Kyrgios and stands a better chance of winning this match and taking revenge for the loss two weeks ago. Having played what he called his “best tennis of 2017” in the final set against Del Potro, Djokovic would have the confidence and momentum especially since the Argentinian is also a big server and the Serbian would adapt to this style of play quickly.
Whereas, Kyrgios would have to be on his best performance and also serve really well to be able to replicate his victory in Acapulco as any single sloppy service game would definitely be punished by the world number two.
Prediction:  Novak Djokovic d.  Nick Kyrgios in three sets