After Novak Djokovic’s exit in round four, Indian Wells will have a new champion in 2017 and many will fancy the winner of Roger Federer v Nick Kyrgios to go on to win the first Masters 1000 event of the year.
Rafael Nadal and Sir Andy Murray have already fallen by the wayside and there’s a real opportunity for a first-time winner, with Federer the only man left in the draw to have lifted the trophy.
Here we take a look at the BNP Paribas Open quarter-final tie between Federer and Kyrgios and offer a prediction as to who will come out on top.
Neither man has dropped a set thus far and considering their opponents in the fourth round, that’s mightily impressive.
Kyrgios’ route to this stage has been particularly tough. After beating Horacio Zeballos in round two, he took up-and-coming star Alexander Zverev out in straight sets before putting Djokovic to the sword.
R2: Zeballos 6-3 6-4
R3: Zverev 6-3 6-4
R4: Djokovic 6-4 7-6
R2: Robert 6-2 6-1
R3: Johnson: 7-6 7-6
R4: Nadal: 6-2 6-3
Federer eased past Stephane Robert in his opening match but was forced to work hard against American Steve Johnson in the third round.
His performance against Nadal in round four was simply superb and he will join Kyrgios in brimming in confidence heading into this one.
There aren’t too many men who boast a winning record against Federer but Kyrgios is one of them – for now at least.
In fairness, they’ve only played once, with Kyrgios coming out on top at the Madrid Masters in 2015.
On that day, each set went to a tiebreak, with the Aussie eventually winning 6-7 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (14-12).
Kyrgios is on his best run at the event, having never previously gone beyond the second round but this is very familiar territory for the 18-time Grand Slam champion Federer.
The 35-year-old is a four-time winner, having won in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2012.