We are getting closer towards the business end of the tournament! Day 6 at the BNP Paribas Open brings the current World no. 1 onto the court, and also some exciting players from the future. Here are my four picks for the must-watch matches in Day 6…
Indian Wells Day 6 Predictions
Novak Djokovic vs Phillip Kohlschreiber
Head-To-Head Record: Djokovic leads 8-1
There were a few moments in Djokovic’s previous match against Bjorn Fratangelo that he looked rusty, but that was his first match back since winning the Australian Open after all. For this matchup, I really do not see Kohlschreiber troubling Djokovic at all. Djokovic is just simply too in form and “in the zone” with his game at the moment. Perhaps the German veteran can make the first set competitive and bring it to a tiebreak, but that’s how far I can see him troubling Djokovic.
Prediction: Djokovic in 2
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Yoshihito Nishioka
Head-To-Head Record: Nishioka leads 1-0 (Challenger tour match)
Auger-Aliassime played unbelievably against Tsitsipas, and captured his first top ten victory at only 18 years old. If the young Canadian can play at that same level against Nishioka he has a seriously good chance of advancing. However, we have seen many times that young players unable to back up their win after a previous big win.
This will be an interesting match to see how mature Auger-Aliassime is. Also, to see whether if he is ready for the big stage. I will give Auger-Aliassime the benefit of the doubt, and predict that he will come through in two close sets.
Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in 2
Gilles Simon vs Dominic Thiem
Head-To-Head Record: Thiem leads 8-2
Given Thiem’s record against Simon, normally it would be easy to say Thiem should win this match. However, Thiem has had a shaky start to 2019 and is coming into this tournament with a 3-4 win-loss record this year, and has only won one back-to-back match in 2019. Thiem won his previous round in straight sets, but I am not sure that he is able to reproduce that same level against Simon. Although Simon does not really have any major weapons in his game, he can get shots back all day long, so is one of those extremely frustrating players to play against.
A tricky match to predict, but if Simon ends up winning this match, I will not be surprised at all.
Prediction: Simon in 3
Alexander Zverev vs Jan-Lennard Struff
Head-To-Head Record: Zverev leads 4-0
Both players will know each other’s game plan extremely well as they are competing in the same Davis Cup team. However, Struff will find it difficult to deal with Zverev’s all-power game, and will possibly want to try to come to the net more often. Because one thing for sure is that Struff will not want to get into long rallies as he will probably be in the losing end in most of them. Struff will have to hope he plays the match of his life, and that Zverev is having an off-day.
Prediction: Zverev in 2