TennisSection previews the 2022 Indian Wells as Adrian Mannarino takes on Brandon Nakashima in the first round on Friday, March 11th, 2022.
Adrian Mannarino and Brandon Nakashima will meet for the second time in as many weeks. The French lefty is looking to inflict more heartbreak towards Nakashima having defeated him in Delray last month. But will the American stand tall at Indian Wells?
Adrian Mannarino has enjoyed one of the best starts to the year by his own standards. Mannarino has always been slow off the blocks in recent seasons, needing at least two months to get in groove. But whether the Frenchman adjusted his training routine during the off-season or tweaked a few aspects of his game, it has instantly paid off. He produced an eye-catching run to the fourth round of the Australian Open in January, beating higher-ranked opponents in James Duckworth, Hurbert Hurkacz and Aslan Karatsev. He would push eventual champion Rafael Nadal close in a mammoth tiebreak set before going on to lose in straight sets. Mannarino did not rest on his laurels after Melbourne. He has reached the quarterfinals at three subsequent tournaments since and will be looking to go far in Indian Wells.
Brandon Nakashima, in fairness, has not been up to scratch despite his reputation as one of the up-and-coming stalwarts amongst the next generation. Nakashima reached the quarterfinals in his first tournament of 2022 at the Sydney Classic. But things have gone awry for the young American who has won only two matches from his last seven. The most surprising defeat of the lot came in Acapulco towards the end of last month. Nakashima was beaten by Peter Gojowczyk in straight sets. Can he return to winning ways at Indian Wells?
Adrian Mannarino leads Brandon Nakashima 1-0 in their head-to-head. The French veteran defeated the newcomer at the Delray Beach Open this year in three sets. But Mannarino can be unpredictable most of the time and I always find it difficult to call his matches. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I feel Nakashima has too good a game not to bounce back at Indian Wells from his recent mini slump.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Brandon Nakashima in 3 sets.
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