The ATP Paribas Open, a.k.a. Indian Wells, kicks off on Wednesday in California. Things could get real interesting with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic not in attendance and Carlos Alcaraz's return from injury. Often called the “fifth Grand Slam,” American Taylor Fritz won this event last year, defeating Nadal in straight sets.
Daniil Medvedev +275
Carlos Alcaraz +600
Jannik Sinner +800
Stefanos Tsitsipas +800
Taylor Fritz/Holger Rune/Andrey Rublev +2000
Djokovic is back on top as World No. 1 but No. 2 Alcaraz has a shot to reclaim that title with a tournament win. If he falls short of an Indian Wells title, then Djokovic will remain No. 1. The Greek God Stefanos Tsisipas (No. 3) also has a chance to claim the No. 1 spot. Between Indian Wells and Miami, Tsitsipas would need to win one and reach the final in the other.
Injuries and stamina
There are a number of players battling injury, returning from injury or potentially entering this tournament fatigued. Alcaraz missed ATP Acapulco due to a hamstring strain and canceled the exhibition match in Las Vegas against Taylor Fritz/Frances Tiafoe. If at peak fitness, the 19-year-old can be a threat to any player.
Fritz was sick during his semifinal match in Acapulco. He stopped his service game mid-match in order to throw up in a bucket behind his bench. The humid conditions posed a problem, which led to Fritz having the “chills, severe dehydration and full body cramping” post match. Conditions in California aren’t as threatening but fatigue and recovery could be a factor as reigning champ.
Daniil Medvedev is on a tear, aiming to win his fourth consecutive tournament. As the favorite to win (+275), it should be with caution that you back him outright after winning ATP Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai. That’s a lot of tennis, a lot of time on court. For most, it could pose an issue. However, for Meddy, fatigue doesn’t seem to be an issue. Right now, no one can beat Medvedev other than Medvedev himself.
Long shot to win
Holger Rune (+2000) is interesting to me. Since winning ATP Paris in early November, the 19-year-old has cooled off a bit. He's had an 11-5 win/loss record since but did reach the semifinals in Montpellier and Acapulco. In a potential quarterfinal match against defending champ Fritz I’d give the edge to Rune if Fritz shows early on that he’s not 100%.
Pick to win
Medvedev (+275) is showing Djokovic strength, winning three titles on the year so far. Why not make it a fourth? At this moment, he’s clearly the best hardcourt player in the field, especially after defeating Djokovic in straight sets in the Dubai semifinal. Considering he plays a predominantly baseline game, him still looking fresh is a world wonder. In that match, in rallies of nine shots or more, Medvedev went 10-5 against Djoker. His momentum is a real thing and is reminiscent of Djokovic’s 2015 season, when Djoker was absolutely untouchable in winning 11 titles. Meddy can definitely make a run at that.
Meddy holds a 6-5 record at Indian Wells, which is why he's not a bigger favorite at +275. But looking at the titles he’s won before 2023, in 15 title wins, 12 were won in the second half of the season. He’s now won three already this year. Ride the wave.
Here are my full draw predictions for reference.