Indian Wells Masters Tennis Betting Tips & Predictions
The 2018 Indian Wells Masters is upon us, as the world’s best players gather for the first Masters 1000 event of the season. This year’s tournament will be the 43rd edition of the men’s tournament that takes place on outside hard courts. This 1000 event, along with Miami, is part of the ‘Sunshine Double’ and is considered to be one of the biggest tournaments on the tour. The prize fund for this year’s tournament is in excess of £6.4 million, with the winner pocketing roughly £965,000 of that. The runner-up for the tournament will receive just under £500,000 as a consolation. Roger Federer is the defending champion, following his triumph over Stan Wawrinka twelve months ago, and the Swiss ace will not only be looking to defend his title, but his number one ranking too. Who will claim the opening Masters event of the season?
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer currently hold the joint-record for most titles won here with five apiece, and both will be among the favourites to claim their sixth this year. Federer is the defending champion and top seed this week, while Djokovic is set to make his first appearance since the Australian Open a couple of months ago. Roger Federer will be looking to successfully defending this title for the first time since 2006, while Djokovic will be looking to regain the title he lost last year. Following Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal from the tournament through injury, Federer and Djokovic are now the only two players in this year’s field to have previously won this tournament. Will we see a new Indian Wells champion crowned in 2018?
Last 5 Champions
2017 – Roger Federer
2016 – Novak Djokovic
2015 – Novak Djokovic
2014 – Novak Djokovic
2013 – Rafael Nadal
Despite the majority of the world’s top ten player’s competing here, there are a number of notable absentees this week. Three-time champion and world number two, Rafael Nadal, has withdrawn from this tournament in order to fully recover from injury woes ahead of the upcoming clay court season. World number seven David Goffin is also missing through a horror eye injury that forced him to retire from his semi-final match at last month’s Rotterdam Open. Last year’s beaten finalist Stan Wawrinka will also be missing this week, as the three-time grand slam champion continues to recover from a recent knee injury. Meanwhile, 2009 finalist Andy Murray continues to be missing following a surgery that is likely to keep him out until the grass court season. Despite these absentees we should be in for an exciting ten days where a number of player’s will fancy their chances of leaving as the champion.
Notable absentees (Ranking)
Rafael Nadal (2)
David Goffin (7)
Stan Wawrinka (11)
Andy Murray (29)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (35)
Richard Gasquet (36)
Roger Federer has begun the season in irresistible form, and he’s showing no signs of letting up anytime soon. The world number two has won both of the ATP tournaments he’s competed in this season, as well as regain the number one ranking in the world from rival Rafael Nadal. The Swiss ace claimed the twentieth grand slam title of his career at the Australian Open in January, before going onto win the Rotterdam Open a month later. Federer is the defending champion this week, and so he’s defending a lot of ranking points, and so the pressure will be firmly on his shoulders. Federer knows he needs to reach at least the semi-finals to leave California still the world number one, anything less will see the injured Rafael Nadal return to top spot. Federer is playing at a level above the rest of the field right now, but can he keep it up this week and maintain his unbeaten start to the season, claiming a sixth title here in the process?
Five-time champion Novak Djokovic will be looking to finally get back to winning ways, as the twelve-time grand slam champion looks to put a disastrous twelve months behind him. The Serbian ace has suffered a serious number of injuries over the last year that forced him to end his 2017 season early, while his start to this year has been short of what was expected. The former world number one suffered an early exit at the Australian open and he’s not played any competitive tennis since. Nonetheless, on his day Novak Djokovic can still dominate the sport, as he showed for a number of years, and a return to top form can’t be far away. Djokovic has won this title five times, including on three consecutive occasions between 2014 and 2016. The Serbian ace will be desperate to win back his title this week and win it for a record-breaking sixth time. Will this be the tournament that sees Djokovic finally return to top form?
Austrian Dominic Thiem has started to produce some high quality tennis over the past month, as the world number six continues to gather momentum ahead of the clay court season. Thiem won last month’s Argentina Open as he continues to produce fantastic tennis on clay. The big question now is whether or not he can bring his best tennis to a hard court. If he can then he’ll be a serious challenger this week. Can Thiem finally deliver in a non-clay court event?
Marin Cilic has enjoyed a solid start to the season that has seen him reach a career high number three in the rankings. The former US Open champion reached the final of the season’s opening grand slam event in Australia, where he forced Roger Federer to a final set in that match. The Croatian ace has also reached the semi-finals at another event this season and he’s definitely one of the front-runners this week. Cilic also has the experience of winning one of these 1000 events, following his 2016 triumph over Andy Murray in Cincinnati. Can Cilic claim his first title of the season?
Juan Martin del Potro returned to the winner’s circle last week by claiming his first title of the season. The 2009 US Open champion saw off Kevin Anderson in the final of the Acapulco Open to see him kick start his season. The Argentine had been stuttering before this victory, and so to win that first title of the season is sure to be a sigh of relief for the world number eight. Del Potro will be looking to bring that tennis with him here and he’ll be hoping to win this title for the first time. The Argentine has reached the final here once before, in 2014. Rafael Nadal defeated del Potro on that occasion, despite del Potro winning the opening set in that final. Del Potro will be hoping he can win back-to-back title this week, as he continues his march up the rankings.
World number four and five, Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev, both won their first Masters titles last season, and both will be amongst the favourites to win another this week. While Dimitrov won his first Masters title in Cincinnati, Zverev won two of the nine events, as he tasted success in Rome and Montreal, with victories over Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer respectively in those finals. However, neither are playing at the levels right now that they were playing at when they won those titles, and so they’ll be hoping this will be tournament that acts as a catalyst for the rest of their seasons. They have showed more positive signs in recent weeks, with Dimitrov reaching the final in Rotterdam and Zverev the semi-finals in Mexico, and so they’ll be coming here feeling upbeat about their prospects. Will these two show why they’re two of the best players on the planet?
Kevin Anderson has been one of the form players in the last few weeks, and the South African reached another final in Mexico last week. Anderson, who broke back into the world’s top ten this year, won the New York Open last month, before reaching last week’s final in Acapulco. The South African has looked back to his best over the last six months, underlined by his run to last season’s US Open final. Anderson will be a player to watch this week, and if he can get into the swing of things he’s more than capable of doing some damage. Next Gen champ Hyeon Chung has been in good form so far this season, and he’s now coming into all tournaments expecting a good run. The South Korean ace is a dangerous draw for anyone and he’s already showed that this year with his stunning straight-sets victory over Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open. Can Chung take that next step and win the biggest title of his career?
Jack Sock and John Isner will be leading the charge of a number of American players looking to win this title on home soil. Jack Sock has enjoyed the best year of his career over the past twelve months, all of which begun here twelve months ago. Sock reached the semi-finals here twelve months ago, the catalyst that would act for a successful season for the American. Despite a poor start to the season for Sock, the American is capable of winning one of these titles as shown with his Paris Masters triumph in November. Meanwhile, John Isner has also struggled for form of late. The American was showing positive signs last summer after winning successive titles, but since then his form has taken a dip. Nonetheless, Isner is more than capable of pressing a button and start suddenly producing his best tennis. The big serving star reached the final here in 2012, before being beaten by Roger Federer, and so he’ll be hoping to go one step further this year. Will we see an American win on home soil?
2016 finalist Milos Raonic continues his bid to build up match fitness with his return to action here. The Canadian is another player who’s struggled for fitness over the last six months and so his main aim this week will be to avoid aggravating anything that could see him face more time on the side-lines. Australian hothead Nick Kyrgios is always a player capable of winning any tournament he enters, and that’s no different this week. In the second biggest tournament of the season so far, who will shine the brightest and lift the title in sunny California?
I just can’t go against Roger Federer right now, he’s just on another level compared to the rest of the field. The Swiss ace is undefeated this season and he’ll come into this tournament as the favourite to continue his fantastic start to this season by claim a third title of it. Federer might be thirty-six-years-old now but he still looks as good as he ever has and he continues to defy all the odds. Federer also loves to break records and so the opportunity to become the outright record holder of most titles won here will be something that will offer him extra incentive this week. The new world number one will also be looking to defend his ranking this week and so the Swiss ace has a lot to play for here in Indian Wells, besides the title of course. I think his fantastic start to the season continues as he claims a sixth Indian Wells title.
Juan Martin del Potro Each-Way
Argentine ace Juan Martin del Potro is coming into this tournament on the back of his title win in Acapulco, and so he should be full of confidence. Juan Martin del Potro is one of the best players in the world when he’s not injured, and if he would’ve stayed injury free a lot more throughout his career he would’ve won a lot more than he has. Nonetheless, del Potro has been injury free for a while now and it’s starting to show. The former finalist has won a number of titles over the last six months or so, but this one would certainly be the biggest. Juan Martin del Potro is actually one of the few players that can go toe to toe with Roger Federer at his best, and if that doesn’t underline his credentials I don’t know what does. I think del Potro could be in for another successful week here and finally claim a first Masters title.