Daniil Medvedev headlines action at the BNP Paribas Open on Monday, with Andrey Rublev, Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz and Aslan Karatsev also hoping to post strong performances to improve their chances of joining the World No. 2 at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held in Turin from 14-21 November.
Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic realises the magnitude of the challenge before him at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, two years on from beating Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 in the third round. Drawn together at the same stage today, this time Medvedev has won 17 of his past 18 matches on North American soil.
“It is a big-time [opportunity] for me,” Krajinovic told ATPTour.com. “Medvedev has been playing so well. He won the US Open, he is the best player in the world. I am very excited to play against him,” Krajinovic said. “I have played against him a couple of times already, I know how he plays. For sure he is the favourite for that match, but I have nothing to lose, I will try to enjoy it.”
Medvedev has since risen from No. 15 to No. 2 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, captured four ATP Masters 1000 trophies, and a maiden major trophy. In February, Medvedev beat Krajinovic 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-0 at the Australian Open and when they meet for their third ATP Head2Head meeting in the final match on Stadium 1 Monday night, the Russian will be bidding to record his 50th match win of 2021 (49-10).
Medvedev admitted, “He can play [an] amazing level of tennis. I feel like if he will reproduce what he did today on the court, he can be a Top 20 [player] for years to come, like for many years at least Top 20.”
Such is the close nature of the FedEx ATP Race To Turin this year, with two months of the regular season left to play, that Rublev (4,120 points at the start of Indian Wells), the next in line to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, is separated by only 195 points from Matteo Berrettini (3,955) and Ruud (2,925), who plays South Africa’s Lloyd Harris first on Stadium 3.
Fourth seed Rublev, who takes on big-serving American Tommy Paul in the final match on Stadium 3, recorded an ATP Tour-leading 31 hard-court wins last year and so far this campaign has won 31 of his 47 matches on the surface. All three of their three previous meetings, all won by Rublev, have been closely fought, with the Russian winning 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 at the Mutua Madrid Open in May.
With seventh-placed Rafael Nadal sidelined due to injury for the rest of 2021, Hurkacz sits in ninth, the final automatic qualification spot on 2,775 points. But with Jannik Sinner (2,505) and Felix Auger-Aliassime (2,320) also vying for a place in Turin, Hurkacz will be hoping to record his second straight win over American Frances Tiafoe in their fourth meeting during the evening match on Stadium 2.
In an eagerly anticipated third-round clash, third on Stadium 2, ninth-seeded Canadian Denis Shapovalov takes on Russian 19th seed Karatsev for the first time. Karatsev is currently in 12th position in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin on 1,940 points, 835 points shy of Hurkacz.
Monday’s action on the main show court begins with two ATP Tour matches. Argentinean 11th seed Diego Schwartzman will be aiming to record his second win over Daniel Evans, the British 18th seed, two months on from his 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 first-round victory at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Second on, Bulgarian 23rd seed Grigor Dimitrov attempts to pass the Indian Wells third round for the first time on his eighth visit when he plays American 16th seed Reilly Opelka, this season’s National Bank Open Presented by Rogers finalist (l. to Medvedev).
SCHEDULE – MONDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2021
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
ATP –  D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs  D. Evans (GBR)
ATP –  G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs  R. Opelka (USA)
Not Before 3:00 PM
WTA –  O. Jabeur (TUN) vs  D. Collins (USA)
Not Before 6:00 PM
WTA –  P. Badosa (ESP) vs  C. Gauff (USA)
ATP –  D. Medvedev (RUS) vs  F. Krajinovic (SRB)
STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
WTA –  A. Kerber (GER) vs  D. Kasatkina (RUS)
WTA –  A. Kontaveit (EST) vs  B. Andreescu (CAN)
ATP –  D. Shapovalov (CAN) vs  A. Karatsev (RUS)
Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – F. Tiafoe (USA) vs  H. Hurkacz (POL)
Not Before 8:00 PM
WTA –  B. Krejcikova (CZE) vs A. Anisimova (USA)
STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
ATP –  L. Harris (RSA) vs  C. Ruud (NOR)
Not Before 1:00 PM
WTA –  K. Pliskova (CZE) vs [LL] B. Haddad Maia (BRA)
WTA –  T. Zidansek (SLO) vs A. Tomljanovic (AUS)
Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP –  C. Norrie (GBR) vs  R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
ATP –  A. Rublev (RUS) vs T. Paul (USA)
STADIUM 4 start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] A. Kalinskaya (RUS) vs V. Golubic (SUI)
WTA – B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / I. Swiatek (POL) vs  S. Hsieh (TPE) / E. Mertens (BEL)
ATP – F. Fognini (ITA) / L. Sonego (ITA) vs [WC] J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA)
ATP –  K. Krawietz (GER) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs [WC] S. Johnson (USA) / S. Querrey (USA)
Not Before 6:00 pm
After Suitable Rest – ATP – J. Struff (GER) / A. Zverev (GER) vs R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Shapovalov (CAN)
STADIUM 6 start 12:00 noon
ATP – T. Puetz (GER) / M. Venus (NZL) vs  R. Ram (USA) / J. Salisbury (GBR)
ATP – S. Gille (BEL) / J. Vliegen (BEL) vs  I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
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