Two years ago Australia’s Nick Kyrgios took down Novak Djokovic in the Quarterfinals at Acapulco and then again in the round of 16 at the ATP World Masters 1000 at Indian Wells. Djokovic was world no. 2 at the time.
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Photo: Nick Kyrgios of Australia shakes hands at the net after his straight set victory against Novak Djokovic of Serbia in their fourth round match during day ten of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 15, 2017 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Since then Djokovic has undergone elbow surgery and then after looking unlikely to return to the top of tennis, he surged back to no. 1 taking Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon, US Open and the Australian Open.
After the draw came out for Indian Wells a potential blockbuster round three clash between Kyrgios and Djokovic is on the cards.
Both players take a bye into the second round. Djokovic then faces the winner of the match between two qualifiers or lucky losers. Kyrgios awaits the winner of Pierre-Henry Herbert and Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Djokovic goes into Indian Wells have not played since claiming his seventh Australian Open back in January. Last week Kyrgios played one of his best weeks of tennis to claim the ATP 500 title in Acapulco.
There is a chance that the world no. 1 could be a little rusty after a long break from competitive tennis. Djokovic is also playing doubles at Indian Wells.
If both players do advance to the third round it will be a highly anticipated match. Djokovic has already won Indian Wells on five occasions. Kyrgios has a 100% winning record against the top player in men’s tennis after the two above mentioned wins.
Kyrgios clearly has the game to defeat Djokovic, but just how the Canberran backs up from his Acapulco efforts is the big unknown.
Bolt and Popyrin Join the Main Draw for Indian Wells
After two qualifying rounds, the Australian male contingent was boosted by two with Alexei Popyrin and Alex Bolt both qualifying. This comes on the back of impressive performances at the Australian Open.
Popyrin defeated Jozef Kovalik (16) SVK 6-3, 6-3 and Lukas Rosol CZE 7-5, 6-3. Bolt defeated Gianluigi Quinzi ITA 6-4, 7-5 and then Christopher Eubanks USA 7-6(3), 7-6(4).
Australian Men for Indian Wells Singles
Alex de Minaur – bye in R1
John Millman vs Jan-Lennard Struff GER
Matthew Ebden vs Ivo Karlovic CRO
Nick Kyrgios – bye in R1
Jordan Thompson vs Federico Delobonis ARG
Alexei Popyrin (Q) vs TBD
Alex Bolt (Q) vs TBD