Date: 15 October 2021
Tournament: BNP Paribas Open
Venue: Indian Wells, USA
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Prize money: $8,761,725
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will face off against 29th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open.
For the second match in a row, Tsitsipas had to make a spirited comeback to keep his campaign at Indian Wells alive. The 23-year-old needed close to three hours to battle past Alex de Minaur 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 6-2 and reach his maiden quarter-final in the California desert.
Both players started the match well, however, Tsitsipas dropped his level a bit in the tie-break to concede the first set. The second set followed a similar script, but it was the Greek who raised his game in the tie-break to force a decider. Tsitsipas finally managed to pull away from the Australian in the third set to seal a hard-fought win.
The win was Tsitsipas' 54th of the season, matching his best-ever tally, which he set in 2019, and solidifying his position as the player with the most victories this year.
Nikoloz Basilashvili, meanwhile, defeated Russian Karen Khachanov in two tight sets, 6-4, 7-6(6) to progress to his maiden quarter-final at the Masters 1000 level.
The 29-year-old hasn't performed at his best in any of the big events in 2021 so far, winning just three matches at the Grand Slams and two across the six Masters tournaments he competed in heading into Indian Wells.
He has, however, been quite successful in smaller tournaments, winning two ATP 250 titles. The Georgian defeated Roger Federer during one of his title runs, saving a match point as well. The Swiss legend has always been one of Basilashvili's idols, and the Georgian cited the win as one of the highlights of his season.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Nikoloz Basilashvili head-to-head
Stefanos Tsitsipas currently leads Nikoloz Basilashvili 2-0 in the head-to-head. Their last meeting was over two years ago at the 2019 Beijing Open, with the Greek winning in three sets.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Nikoloz Basilashvili prediction
Stefanos Tsitsipas enters this contest as the firm favorite, but it remains to be seen how much the 23-year-old has left in his tank after two exhausting matches. As such, Nikoloz Basilashvili will fancy his chances of pulling off an upset.
The Georgian has been serving pretty well all week, winning 73% of his first-serve points on average. He also possesses powerful groundstrokes, but considering the slow conditions at Indian Wells, the Georgian will need to rely on more than just his aggressive baseline game to punch holes in Tsitsipas' armour.
Tsitsipas has been tested thoroughly over the last couple of days. That said, the Greek has managed to raise his level at the crucial moments to emerge with the wins. He has been consistent in all departments and his all-court style of play should give him the edge in this match.
Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in straight sets.