ATP Masters Indian Wells – Tournament Preview – Who will win?

The first Masters event of the year has just gotten underway, but with the seeds not getting their campaigns underway until the weekend there is still time to look ahead to who might win the title. This article is slightly different to usual, in that I will take you through the draw and the main contenders in each section (with their outright prices in brackets), and at the end I will reveal who myself (Luke) and Charlie have selected.

First Quarter

Carlos Alcaraz (13/2) is the top seed for the event, and due to his prowess on these slow American hard courts, will be tough to beat. He won Miami and the US Open last year, and some would say slow hard courts suit him better than clay. However, he has not played on hard since the Paris Masters last year, but has played two clay events, winning Buenos Aires and losing in the Final of Rio de Janeiro to Cameron Norrie, where the Spaniard was struggling physically. Given it will be two weeks since that Final by the time he begins his Indian Wells campaign, that doesn’t worry me too much. His opening match sees him face either Thanasi Kokkinakis or Brandon Holt, and then potentially Tallon Griekspoor (125/1) who is in good form. Beyond that, a pair of dangerous Brits are lurking, Andy Murray (50/1) and Jack Draper (100/1), as well as last year’s Montreal champion Pablo Carreno Busta (100/1), who has struggled so far this year.

The other half of this quarter sees Felix Auger-Aliassime (22/1) as the eighth seed, who has not started the year as well as many thought he would, myself included. I don’t see the slow conditions suiting him, his game is much more potent on quicker surfaces. Hubert Hurkacz (50/1) comes in at very long odds for a former Miami champion, and whilst his tennis can be binary, when he’s on he is very tough to beat. However, his draw is not easy, as he could face Tommy Paul (40/1) in the Third Round.

Second Quarter

Defending champion Taylor Fritz (22/1) is the highest seed in this quarter, and the Californian has made a solid start to the year excluding a Second Round exit at the Australian Open. He helped USA to United Cup glory, won the Delray beach title and lost a gruelling Semi Final in Acapulco to Paul. He won’t have it easy though: an opening match against Shelton is a potential banana skin, and he could face last year’s Cincinnati champion Borna Coric (66/1) or last week’s Acapulco champion Alex de Minaur (28/1) in the Fourth Round.

Jannik Sinner (10/1) has made a superb start to the year, after a disappointing 2022 hampered by injuries. He pushed Finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in the Australian Open, won a title in Montpellier without dropping a set and then beat Tsitsipas in Rotterdam, losing in the Final to an inspired Daniil Medvedev in three sets, where it looked like he ran out of steam. With three weeks off however, he will be recharged and ready to cause havoc in this draw. Holger Rune (20/1) hasn’t hit the heights of his Paris Masters triumph since then, losing to Maxime Cressy in Montpellier, retiring against Gijs Brouwer and getting booed off court in Rotterdam and losing to de Minaur last week in Acapulco where he struggled physically. I would back Sinner to beat him on current form. Last year’s Quarter Finalist Miomir Kecmanovic (125/1) badly needs to rediscover some form here to save his ranking.

Third Quarter

Daniil Medvedev (11/4) is the man to beat this week. He has looked back to his very best in the last month, winning titles in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai, beating Novak Djokovic, Auger-Aliassime (twice), Sinner and Rublev in that run. The Russian fell outside of the top 10 after the Australian Open, which was perhaps the motivation he needed to rediscover his best form. He will enjoy these conditions too, with his movement it will feel almost impossible to get the ball past him, whereas his serve is big enough to get cheap points on any surface. Another big name nearby is Alex Zverev (33/1), who after a poor start to the year looks to have regained some confidence, making the Dubai Semi Finals. It’s a long price for someone of his quality, and I am curious to see whether he can continue to progress in his recovery from injury and challenge this week.

Casper Ruud (33/1) has made a poor start to the year. He took time off in February, but it doesn’t look to have done him any favours so far as he almost lost to world number 311 Andreozzi and did lose to Taro Daniel last week in Acapulco. He does enjoy slow hard courts, having made the Final of Miami and the US Open last year, but given his performances last week he is one to avoid for the first few rounds at least. Perhaps he can play his way into the event, Karen Khachanov (66/1) likely awaits in the Fourth Round if he can.

Fourth Quarter

Stefanos Tsitsipas (9/1) has lost just twice this year: the Australian Open Final to Djokovic, and in Rotterdam to an in-form Sinner. This could be a big year for the Greek, and he usually likes slow conditions as it gives him more time on the ball, and means he can’t be rushed as easily on his backhand side. After a very promising start to the year, I expect a deep run either here or in Miami, if not both. Frances Tiafoe (50/1) presents the only stiff competition before the Quarter Finals.

Andrey Rublev (22/1) has had an up and down start to the year: losing to Roberto Bautista Agut and Kokkinakis in Adelaide, de Minaur in Rotterdam and Jiri Lehecka (50/1) in Doha. However, he did beat Rune on his way to the Australian Open Quarter Finals, and made the Final last week in Dubai, playing at a high level all week. He may have to face Lehecka again in the Second Round, which is a tough draw given how well the Czech is playing at the moment. 2021 Indian Wells champion and last week’s Rio de Janeiro winner Cameron Norrie (33/1), Matteo Berrettini (40/1) and Denis Shapovalov (80/1) are also in his section of the draw, meaning that the Russian will have his work cut out to have a good run here.

Our picks

Charlie has broken his own rules and selected two outrights and a wildcard this week! If you want even more explanation on these picks, as well as our First Round tips, be sure to listen to our latest podcast (found below)!


Outright: Medvedev 11/4 and Alcaraz 13/2 E/W

Wildcard: Hurkacz 50/1 E/W


Outright: Tsitsipas 9/1 E/W

Wildcard: Sinner 10/1 E/W


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