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Indian Wells 2021: Stefanos Tsitsipas' projected path to the final | BNP Paribas Open

Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2021 French Open.
Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2021 French Open.
Rohit R
ANALYST

The men's draw for the 2021 BNP Paribas Open was revealed on Tuesday, with Stefanos Tsitsipas named the second seed. The Greek hasn't performed too well at this event in the past, so he'll be eyeing a change in fortunes this time around.

Let's take a look at how the Greek's draw could unfold at Indian Wells.

Stefanos Tsitsipas' likely 2nd round opponent - Pedro Martinez

After a first-round bye, Tsitsipas will kick off his campaign against either Pedro Martinez or a qualifier. The 23-year-old won his only encounter against Martinez in straight sets at Roland Garros earlier this year.

The Spaniard is a claycourt specialist so Tsitsipas shouldn't have any trouble moving past him.

Stefanos Tsitsipas' likely 3rd round opponent - Fabio Fognini / Jan-Lennard Struff

Next up for the Greek would be either Fabio Fognini or Jan-Lennard Struff.

Tsitsipas leads the head-to-head against Fognini 2-0, winning both their matches in straight sets. Moreover, the Italian is in poor form, having lost his opening match in the last two tournaments.

Struff, meanwhile, is also in the middle of a rough patch. The German has won just two matches since his fourth-round run at the French Open. Tsitsipas and Struff have faced off five times, with four of their encounters going the distance. The Greek leads their head-to-head 3-2.

Stefanos Tsitsipas' likely 4th round opponent - Cristian Garin / Alex de Minaur

Cristian Garin and Alex de Minaur are scheduled to face each other in the third-round, with the winner potentially taking on Tsitsipas. The Greek hasn't lost to either player, but considering the fact that Garin and de Minaur have struggled in the last few months, there's a possibility that Tsitsipas will someone else entirely in the fourth round.

De Minaur has won just one match since winning the 2021 Eastbourne Open in June, while Garin has won just three since his fourth-round appearance at Wimbledon. This section of the draw is wide open with a high possibility of upsets, so it's tough to determine who Tsitsipas will face if the seeds don't hold up.

Stefanos Tsitsipas' likely quarterfinal opponent - Felix Auger-Aliassime / Karen Khachanov / Pablo Carreno Busta

Karen Khachanov and Pablo Carreno Busta are both dangerous opponents, but have been placed in the same section of the draw and could meet in the third round. The winner could face Felix Auger-Aliassime, but the Canadian withdrew from last week's San Diego Open and it remains to be seen if he is fully fit.

Tsitsipas hasn't lost a match to either Khachanov or Carreno Busta. While he struggled in his rivalry with Auger-Aliassime early on, losing their first two meetings, the 23-year-old has won each of their next five contests.

As such, Tsitsipas will fancy his chances of progressing regardless of who he faces.

Stefanos Tsitsipas' likely semifinal opponent - Alexander Zverev / Matteo Berrettini / Jannik Sinner

Zverev at the 2021 Australian Open.
Zverev at the 2021 Australian Open.

Based on current form, Alexander Zverev is the player most likely to make the last four. However, teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz, who stunned Tsitsipas in the third round of the US Open, is also in the German's section of the draw.

Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner have also been playing well, with the latter winning the Sofia Open a few days ago. Regardless of the opponent, it will be a stern test for Tsitsipas in the semifinals.

Stefanos Tsitsipas' likely opponent in the final - Daniil Medvedev

Medvedev won his first Grand Slam title at the 2021 US Open.
Medvedev won his first Grand Slam title at the 2021 US Open.

Daniil Medvedev is the man to beat in this tournament. Barring any major upset, the Russian should be able to make the final. He's been in incredible form this year, and having won his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open, he'll be high on confidence.

Medvedev leads the head-to-head against Tsitsipas 6-2, though the Greek won their most recent encounter at Roland Garros this year. Medvedev has established himself as arguably the best hardcourt player of the last few years, so it'll be a tough task for the 23-year-old Greek to stop him if he makes the final.

Prediction: While Tsitsipas' record at the tournament is dismal, based on his performance this year, a semifinal showing seems like a safe bet.


Edited by Arvind Sriram
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