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Djokovic, Federer & Nadal survive opening matches in Indian Wells ‘Group of Death’

Mar 13, 2017
written by: Kristina Borojevic
written by: Kristina Borojevic
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When the Indian Wells men’s draw was made all eyes looked to the bottom quarter that featured Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Add in the likes of Juan Martin del Potro, Nick Kyrgios and Grigor Dimitrov and  we had the “Group of Death”.

Rafael Nadal kicked off play on Day 5 against Guido Pella. Nadal, a 3-time champion in the desert, cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the Argentine in 81 minutes. Rafa will now face a familiar foe in fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. Grab your popcorn – it’s sure to be an epic encounter given both of their forms to begin the season.

Novak Djokovic had to dig deep to get by Kyle Edmund in his opening match. The World No. 2 and defending champion at Indian Wells has struggled to find his dominant form so far in 2017 but he stayed composed to get the 6-4, 7-6 (5) victory.

Next, Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro will battle for the second time this year. Djokovic won their last meeting in Acapulco 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Have your popcorn ready for this blockbuster!

Finally, it’s safe to say Roger Federer had a tougher time in his press conference than he did on court (?)!

The Australian Open champion had no trouble pushing his way past Stephane Robert in his opening match – much like he had no trouble doing 10 push-ups with a bunch of 7-year-olds. Federer won his opening match 6-2, 6-1 in 51 minutes and will face Steve Johnson in the third round.

Across the grounds, Grigor Dimitrov cruised to victory against Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-0 and will face Jack Sock in the next round. Nick Kyrgios earned his second straight win against Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 6-4 and will take on fellow ATP young gun Alexander Zverev in the third round.

Juan Martin del Potro began his Indian Wells campaign with a straight sets victory over countryman Federico Delbonis 7-6(5), 6-3. An extra shoutout to del Potro for hitting the shot of the tournament!

The ‘Group of Death’ is very much alive in Indian Wells. We look forward to these epic clashes in the upcoming days and in Montreal this August!

Feature photo via BNP Paribas Open.

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