ATP Tour: Masters 1000 Series Selected Fourth Round Preview

Tennis player stands with racquet in hand

We preview selected fourth round matches from the ATP Masters 1000 Series from Indian Wells.

Roger Federer 1/50 | Jeremy Chardy 19/2
Leading the top half of the draw is Roger Federer, and while it seems fairly futile, I have to review his match against Jeremy Chardy. Chardy, perhaps emboldened by the wave of French players currently doing well on tour, has had a magnificent run in this year’s event. Up until this point, Chardy had had a fairly negligible year, with R16 finishes in New York and Montpellier followed by a sound thrashing in Delray at the hands of Del Potro. Chardy has been inspired here, beating compatriot Julian Benneteau before overcoming Fabio Fognini and Adrian Mannarino. But he comes up against the well-oiled machine that is Federer.

Federer, in his quest for a record sixth title here, had little problem in dispatching both Filip Krajinovic and Delbonis. Currently unbeaten in 13 matches this year, Federer is just looking better and better while the likes of Dimitrov and Thiem battle to rise up the unenviable challenge of replacing him. There is little or no value here, because Federer is undoubtedly going to win this match. Federer leads the head-to-head between the two 3-1, with Chardy winning in 2014 on clay. 

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Hyeon Chung 3/10 | Pablo Cuevas 22/10
The South Korean sensation surprised me in conquering Tomas Berdych en route to the Round of 16. I thought that the Czech would overpower the indefatigable Australian Open semi-finalist, but Chung once again defied expectations. He has been growing ever since winning the inaugural NextGen event last season. His victory over Andrey Rublev was really the kick-start that culminated in that tremendous run to the Aussie Open semi-finals. He has however failed to get past the quarterfinal stage of either Acapulco or Delray, and he comes up against an opponent in perhaps richer recent form. 

Argentine Cuevas has just come off a typically successful South American clay-court season, with a quarterfinal appearance in Rio followed by a semi-final appearance in Sao Paolo. I never thought that Dominic Thiem would get far in this event, but I hardly suspected that it would be fellow clay-court aficionado Cuevas who usurped him. On top of that, Cuevas knocked out the dangerous Canadian talent Shapovalov. I think that Cuevas looks like decent value at 22/10, especially when you consider that Chung hasn’t gone beyond a quarterfinal since the Australian Open. 

Taylor Fritz 18/10 | Borna Coric 4/10
Current home-crowd heartthrob Taylor Fritz is enjoying a fairy-tale run off the back of a gruelling Indian Wells Challenger Series event last week. Fritz has had an indifferent year on the Challenger Tour thus far, with fleeting appearances in proper ATP events. A quarterfinal defeat to Shapavalov in Delray was perhaps the highlight of his year to date. He manged to defeat Opelka in the opening round, before a massive upset saw him overcome Andrey Rublev in the second. He then overcame a spirited Fernando Verdasco to secure an enticing fourth round clash with one of the most promising young talents on the tour. 

Borna Coric looked sensational in Dubai before succumbing to eventual champion Roberto Bautista-Agut. He also lost in the Doha quarter-finals to Andrey Rublev, so he has been on the cusp of a breakthrough thus far this season. What has impressed me most is his ability to bounce back swiftly, with a victory in this event already over Dubai conqueror Bautista-Agut. He also has notched up victories over both Donald Young and Albert Ramos-Vinolas in this event. I do however think that Fritz could represent great value at 18/10. 


Pablo Carreno Busta 39/20 | Kevin Anderson 7/20
In a replay of last season’s US Open Semi-Final, red-hot South African Kevin Anderson faces Spaniard Pablo Carreno-Busta. Outside of Federer, Anderson is probably the hottest hardcourt player on show this week, with a recent New York Open title followed by a final defeat in Acapulco to Del Potro. He has started in fairly serene fashion, dispatching of Donskoy and a spirted Nicolas Kicker in the rounds thus far. Anderson beat Tiafoe, Querrey and Nishikori in New York as well as Chung and Donaldson in Acapulco. So he has shown an ability to play a variety of styles on the American hardcourts, which will make him the favourite going into this one. 

Carreno Busta trails Anderson 3-0 in their head-to-head encounters, including that four-set semi-final in Flushing Meadows. Carreno Busta snuck through against Zeballos in the second round, before an excellent performance against the durable Medvedev in the third. But quite frankly, neither one of them has the attributes of the South African. Busta’s performances this year have been fairly dismal, failing to get past the round of 16 in Rio, Buenos Aires and Melbourne. To be fair, his Round of 16 defeat to Cilic in Melbourne was an epic, but I just can’t see the Spaniard emerging victorious here. Anderson looks fairly safe at 7/20. 

Written by Damien Kayat for

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