After an eventful first five days at the BNP Paribas Open, Monday’s action will narrow the men’s singles field to 16 as the third round draws to a close.

Chasing his 100th tour-level win, Carlos Alcaraz continues his title and World No. 1 quest against Tallon Griekspoor, while 2022 champion Taylor Fritz plays Sebastian Baez. Two popcorn encounters see Holger Rune face Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray take on fellow Briton Jack Draper. breaks down some of the key contests on Day 6 at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells.

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[1] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs. [31] Tallon Griekspoor (NED)

Alcaraz suffered a right hamstring injury last month in Rio de Janeiro, but looked at his mobile best on his return against Thanasi Kokkinakis on Saturday and will look to replicate that performance against Dutchman Griekspoor.

The 19-year-old Spaniard is playing for a double prize this fortnight. He will rise to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time since January if he captures his third ATP Masters 1000 crown in the desert.

The top seed, who reached the semi-finals in California last year, is not looking too far ahead, though.

“I think the most important part of my game [is] to stay relaxed and go for it and not to think about the mistakes, the points, the rounds,” Alcaraz said after his second-round win. “Let’s say, live [in] the moment, play the match, and go for it. That’s the goal in this tournament for me.”

Alcaraz holds a 2-1 ATP Head2Head series lead against Griekspoor, but will be aware of the threat the 26-year-old holds. The World No. 36, who beat Guido Pella in the second round, defeated Alcaraz in their only previous hard-court meeting in Montpellier in 2021.


[7] Holger Rune (DEN) Vs. Stan Wawrinka (SWI)

Rune was only two months old when Wawrinka made his tour-level debut back in July 2003. Just shy of 20 years later, the 37-year-old Wawrinka is still going strong, defeating Miomir Kecmanovic to set a blockbuster third-round clash against Rune.

The 19-year-old Rune overcame the former World No. 3 Wawrinka en route to his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Paris last season, their only previous meeting. The Dane will try to power his way through Wawrinka again in a heavy-hitting clash between two of the cleanest ball strikers on Tour.

Match of the Day @BNPPARIBASOPEN @holgerrune2003 vs @stanwawrinka

Last time out, it went all the way to the final-set tiebreaker, with Rune taking the win and going on to take the 🏆 in Paris

We’ve taken a look back at the #Insights

Pick your scoreline in the thread…

— Tennis Insights (@tennis_insights) March 13, 2023

“He’s a great player, has had a great career,” Rune said when asked about Wawrinka. “I’m just going to try to focus on myself and do everything I can to beat him.”

Rune, currently No. 8 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, downed Mackenzie McDonald in his opening match to reach the third round at the hard-court event for the first time. The three-time tour-level champion is currently 12-5 on the year.

Wawrinka has endured a longer path to the third round, defeating Aleksandar Vukic in three sets before he overcame Kecmanovic. The Swiss star, who enjoyed a run to the final in Indian Wells in 2017, struck 25 winners against the Serbian Kecmanovic and will try to find a similar level against Rune to improve on his 8-5 start to the year.


Andy Murray (GBR) Vs. Jack Draper (GBR)

Another third-round clash between experience and youth pits former World No. 1 Murray against 21-year-old Briton Draper. Murray has been the marathon man in 2023 with seven deciding-set wins. However, he got the job done quickly in the second round in Indian Wells, defeating Radu Albot 6-4, 6-3 to set a first tour-level meeting against Draper.

Draper is making his debut in Indian Wells and has quickly adjusted to the conditions, overcoming Leandro Riedi and countryman Daniel Evans to reach the third round. The lefty has risen back into the Top 50 to No. 48 in the Pepperstone ATP Live rankings following his success so far in California. Victory for No. 53 Murray would move the Scot above Draper.

With Murray targeting a fourth-round spot in Indian Wells for the first time since 2015 (when he reached the semi-finals) and Cincinnati quarter-finalist Draper aiming to reach that stage at a Masters 1000 for the second time, there will be a lot on the line when they face off on Monday.


[4] Taylor Fritz (USA) Vs. [30] Sebastian Baez (ARG)

Fritz passed a tricky opening test on Saturday when he moved past his #NextGenATP countryman Ben Shelton to reach the third round. The Californian produced an impressive display on serve in the second and third sets, during which he did not face a break point.

Fritz will aim to replicate that serving performance against Baez and earn his second win over the Argentine, having claimed a straight-sets win in Cincinnati in August. The 25-year-old captured the biggest title of his career in Indian Wells last year and is excited to be playing in front of his home supporters again.

“It’s amazing,” said Fritz of the atmosphere. “It’s such a great feeling coming back, walking onto the court and then walking back out after the match is over. It’s such an amazing feeling just to feel the crowd and be back home.”

After struggling at the end of last season, Baez has made a fast start in 2023. He clinched his second tour-level title in Cordoba last month and cruised past Australian qualifier Rinky Hijikata to reach the third round in Indian Wells.

Also In Action…

Ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz plays Tommy Paul, with both players coming in off the back of 6-3, 6-3 victories against Alexei Popyrin and Jan-Lennard Struff, respectively. The eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime continues the quest for his first title of the season against Francisco Cerundolo, while Jannik Sinner plays Adrian Mannarino.

In doubles, top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski face singles stars Frances Tiafoe and Wawrinka. Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, seeking their second crown of the year, play Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

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