ATP Indian Wells: 4th Round Predictions

1. Rafael Nadal v Ernests Gulbis
The most tempting of the 4th rounders is likely to be the match-up between Rafael Nadal and Ernests Gulbis.  Nadal is making his return to hard court action this week and beat Ryan Harrison in his first match.  He benefitted from a walkover by Leonardo Mayer in the third round due to a back injury.  Gulbis has won his last 13 matches across a 17 day span and has taken out Feliciano Lopez, Janko Tipsarevic and Andreas Seppi in the desert.  You cannot keep your eyes off a match involving Gulbis because you never quite know what is going to happen next.  He is petulant for sure, but a mighty talent when he is playing his best tennis, which he is right now.  This will be a significant test for Nadal, but I still find myself backing the Spaniard against the unpredictable Latvian

Prediction – Nadal to beat Gulbis in 3 sets

Tomas Berdych

2. Tomas Berdych v Richard Gasquet

Richard Gasquet has had a very solid year up till now and this tournament has been more of the same as he has overcome two promising players, Jerzy Janowicz and Bernard Tomic, in the opening two rounds.  Tomas Berdych has very quietly crept into the fourth round with two straight set wins, but will be wary of the threat that Gasquet poses, who has won 4 of their 6 previous encounters.  However Gasquet is yet to beat a top ten player this year and certainly struggles to impose his best game on the big guys.  The head-to-head would suggest that Gasquet has a chance, but Berdych is slowly becoming a big time player and should have the edge over the Frenchman.

Prediction – Berdych to beat Gasquet in 2 tight sets

3. Stanislas Wawrinka v Roger Federer
Roger Federer has cruised through his first two matches against Denis Istomin and Ivan Dodig, but did appear to tweak a back injury in his last match.  He faces Stanislas Wawrinka for the 14th time on the ATP tour tomorrow; Stan the man took three sets to get past Wayne Odesnik in his first match, but was much more clincial under the lights to dispatch Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets two nights ago.  Federer owns Wawrinka in the head-to-head, but the Swiss number two may have a chance if Federer has an injury.  Furthermore, he showed against Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open that he can rally with the best of them, but can he really notch up a second win over Federer? Doubtful.

Prediction – Federer to beat Wawrinka in 2 sets

Best of the rest: mens 4th round predictions
Novak Djokovic to beat Sam Querrey in 2 sets
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to beat Milos Raonic in 3 sets
Andy Murray to beat Carlos Berlocq in 2 sets
Juan Martin Del Potro to beat Tommy Haas in 2 tiebreak sets
Kevin Anderson to beat Gilles Simon in 2 sets

A bad day at the predictions office with the womens yesterday as Barthel and Petrova both lostThe first two womens quarter-finals are tonight with Kvitova/Kirilenko followed by Sharapova/Errani.  Previews and predictions to follow later.

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