TennisSection previews the 2021 Indian Wells Open as Hubert Hurkacz (8) meets Frances Tiafoe in the Third Round on Monday October 11th, 2021.
Can the flashy American Frances Tiafoe continue his strong run here at the 2021 Indian Wells Open? He is facing Hubert Hurkacz who knows a thing or two about performing at these Masters-1000 after title win in Miami earlier in the year, but Tiafoe really brings his best for the home crowd. Despite being the underdog here, he is capable of beating anyone on a good day and with the crowd behind him, who knows what can happen. Can he upset the big-serving Polish star?
Hubert Hurkacz is the eighth seed here at the 2021 Indian Wells Open and is currently ranked at a career-high #12 on the ATP Tour. The Pole is enjoying a breakout season, winning three titles this year (including the Miami Open) and had a strong run to his first ever Grand Slam Semi-Final at Wimbledon. He has been in mixed form lately, winning the Moselle Open but then falling in the Round of 16 at the San Diego Open, and will be keen to get back to winning ways as he chases a spot in the year-end event in Turin. He started strongly here, defeating Alexei Popyrin in straight sets, displaying his typical dominant serve and forehands. Once he can keep his errors down he will be very difficult to beat here, and his opponent Frances Tiafoe is in for a tough time here.
Frances Tiafoe is unseeded here at the 2021 Indian Wells Open and is ranked #49 in the world. The explosive young American has been having a mixed season in 2021 with some major highs and lows. One things that has always been missing from his game is consistency, as his talent and quality has never been in question. He has started strongly here, defeating Benoit Paire in the First Round before crushing fellow American Sebastian Korda 6-0, 6-4 in the Second Round. When the American is playing well he can go toe to toe with the best of them, and in front of his beloved home crowd he will have some incredible self-belief. His opponent Hubert Hurkacz has been playing very well this year but like Tiafoe has struggled with consistency and the American will be backing himself here.
This will be the fourth meeting between the two players with Frances Tiafoe leading the head to head 2-1. Since the last time that they played in 2019 however, Hubert Hurkacz has really taken off while the American has largely remained stagnant, so it will be interesting to see what happens here. Hurkacz is the obvious favorite on paper here, but there is just something about Tiafoe when playing at home, he really feeds off the crowd and finds that extra gear. I am expecting a ferocious battle, but I think that the American will get the win here. He has all the talent in the world, and the crowd helps him unlock it. It won’t be easy and Hurkacz will really push him to the limit, but I like Frances Tiafoe to get the win here, advancing to the Round of 16 at the 2021 Indian Wells Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Frances Tiafoe to win in 3 sets
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