Murray v. Lopez
This will mark the 2nd meeting between this two this season and 11th all-time. Murray dominates the h2h with a 10-0 record against Lopez. The Spaniard did manage a set off of him in Abu Dhabi earlier this year as Murray survived 7-6, 5-7, 6-4. Lopez should have some confidence heading into today after knocking out 5th seeded Kei Nishikori in straight sets 6-4, 7-6. Lopez’s serve was popping with 12 aces and he managed to save six of seven break points offered. That is something he will need to take care of again today if he is to have a chance at another shock upset. Murray for his part has been able to dominate his matches at Indian Wells with his usual trademark tough defense and stellar return game. He has broken the serve of his opponent 14 times in three rounds. Lopez will be the toughest serve he has seen thus far, but it has been broken four times in three matches. This match figures to center around the Lopez serve and how well it holds up against the Murray return game. Lopez will need to win a high percentage of his 1st serve to keep pressure off a 2nd serve that will be attacked. I think Lopez ,if he can replicate some of the solid hitting and serving from yesterday, will be in this match and force Murray to play at a high level to win. In the end though, Murray has shown the ability time and again to beat Lopez and you would expect that as the end result today.
Djokovic v. Tomic
Tomic is a bit of a suprise in this spot, but it is well deserved. He’s taken out wunderkind Borna Coric, 8th seeded David Ferrer and outlasted fellow Aussie, Thanasi Kokkinakis, in three sets on Wednesday to get here. Djokovic looked much better yesterday and close to the dominant #1 you expect. Against Isner, He made some amazing shots and just looked more engaged after struggling some with Ramos in the pre4vious round. Saying all that, he has not dropped a set yet this tournament. This will be the 6th all-time meeting between the two with Djokovic holding a 3-2 lead. It should be noted that Tomic’s wins both came during the pre-Australian Open swings with a win at the Hopman Cup a couple years ago and the Kooyong Exhibition back in 2010. The other three meetings were pretty straight forward Djokovic wins, but this will be their first meeting since 2012. Tomic has that quirky game of slices and varying pace that will make Djokovic work a bit more than he has in rallies, but Djokovic should also put a lot of pressure on the Aussie’s service games. Kokkinakis had some opportunities against the serve yesterday, but failied to capitalize. Djokovic likely will not be so kind. If Tomic plays a nearly perfect game, maybe he can steal a set, but I would bank on Djokovic getting this done in straights with the business end of the tournament at-hand.