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7 Must-Watch Matches On Super Saturday At The BNP Paribas Open – BNP Paribas Open

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It’s a Super Saturday of world-class tennis at the BNP Paribas Open. Every court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden is packed with amazing match-ups, intriguing storylines and, of course, the promise of quality tennis – but we’ve (somehow) narrowed down the action to the Top 7 matches to keep an eye on. Did we miss anything? Give us a shout at @BNPPARIBASOPEN on Twitter.

7. [32] Bianca Andreescu vs. [WC] Peyton Stearns

5:00pm PST – Stadium 3. 2019 BNP Paribas Open champ vs. reigning NCAA champion – it’s a mouthwatering clash between two talented women just a year apart in age but worlds apart in their professional tennis journey.

While Andreescu turned pro at a young age and just a few years into her career won a maiden Grand Slam title, while Stearns took the college route, opting to balance education with competitive tennis. A player of the Canadian’s quality will be a great test for the American wild card in this intriguing second-round match-up.

6. [PR] Stan Wawrinka vs. [26] Miomir Kecmanovic

Second after 11:00am PST – Stadium 6. This might not be the most high-profile match of the day, but it has the makings of a great one on the intimate Stadium 6 setting at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Kecmanovic might not exactly be a household name (yet), but the Serb has made the quarterfinals in two of his three BNP Paribas Open appearances and clearly brings his best to the desert. Wawrinka is a former finalist – and there’s no denying the quality he’s capable of when his game is firing, even if he’s past his prime.

5. [10] Elena Rybakina vs. [WC] Sofia Kenin

Third after 11:00am PST – Stadium 2. Two Grand Slam champs in completely different phases of their career. On one hand, you have Rybakina who is fresh off a run to the Australian Open final in January following her maiden major title at Wimbledon last season. On the other, you have Kenin, who has the same Slam resume (one title, one final), but is currently on the comeback trail after years of injury struggles.

If both play up to what they’re capable of, this mix of styles and matching pedigrees could be quite the popcorn match.

4. Carlos Alcaraz vs. (Q) Thanasi Kokkinakis

6:00pm PST – Stadium 1. Last year’s semifinal run was just the beginning for Alcaraz. After the BNP Paribas Open last year, electrifying Spaniard went on to win two Masters 1000 titles and his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open. Against Thanasi Kokkinakis, he’ll be facing a player ranked well below his quality, as the shotmaking Aussie continues to work his way back from another round of injuries.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023 – Carlos Alcaraz practices with Frances Tiafoe during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)

3. [PR] Karolina Muchova vs. [14] Victoria Azarenka

11:00am PST – Stadium 1. Perhaps a bit of a sleeper pick, but Karolina Muchova (entered into this year’s event with an injury protected ranking) is a joy to watch when her game is in full flight and is capable of any shot from anywhere on the court. Azarenka is a two-time champ here and a finalist back in 2021 – she knows these conditions and thrives in them. This one could be anyone’s game and is a great way to kick off a packed schedule on Stadium 1 court.

2. [11] Jannik Sinner vs. Richard Gasquet

11:00am PST – Stadium 3. Speaking of great ways to start off a packed schedule, this Sinner-Gasquet clash is the opening slot on Stadium 3’s excellent order of play, but is one of the prime-time matchups between two of the best backhands in the men’s game. Expect plenty of ooh’s and ahh’s from the crowd, who won’t be able to resist admiring the quality of shotmaking – regardless of who they’re rooting for!

1. [4] Taylor Fritz vs. Ben Shelton

Third after 11:00am PST – Stadium 1. Defending BNP Paribas Open champion Fritz kicks off his title defence against compatriot Ben Shelton in a matchup that basically writes its own storyline. Long considered the future of American tennis, Fritz delivered on years of promise by claiming this title a year ago; a year later, Ben Shelton harbors the same expectations Fritz did.

Sunday, March 20, 2022 – Taylor Fritz reacts to winning the Men’s Singles title at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)

Both play similar ‘American’ big-serving, big hitting games, but Shelton’s lefty serve and explosive all-court movement offers a compelling contrast to Fritz’s smoother shotmaking from the baseline. It’s a clash of styles and storylines that is sure to make for a blockbuster encounter to close our Saturday’s day session at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

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