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Men’s Quarterfinals Begin Thursday in Indian Wells

Mar 14th 2019

How the Top Half of the Draw Shook Out

Gael Monfils [18] vs. Dominic Thiem [7]

Gael Monfils reached the quarterfinal without being tested by any seeded players. He did take out 35-year-old German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who made waves in the third round when he defeated Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4. His best result at the tournament came in 2016, when he also reached the quarterfinal, but was defeated by Milos Raonic.

Dominic Thiem reached the semifinal without dropping a set. Thiem leads the head to head with Monfils at 4 and 0. They most recently played on clay, in the 2018 Buenos Aires semifinal, which Thiem won 6-2, 6-1.

Gael Monfils

Being familiar with his game, Thiem is not surprised at the French player’s success here. He explained: “Gaël, he has a very good season so far. Won Rotterdam, played good Dubai. When he's on, I think everybody knows what he's capable of. Hard to hit a winner against him. He's so fast and he can also put a lot of pressure. It's going to be a tough match and completely different than today, and for sure also great fun.”

Milos Raonic [13] vs. Miomir Kecmanovic [LL]

On his way to the quarterfinal, Milos Raonic took out American Sam Querrey 7-6(1), 6-4 before narrowly getting past another American, Marcos Giron, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. He then defeated German Kan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-3 in the round of 16 in under 1 hour 15 minutes.

The two players have only met once, and it happened this year in Brisbane. Raonic defeated Kecmanovic 6-3, 7-6(2). The Canadian knows what he needs to do to get the same result and advance to the semifinal: “[Kecmanovic] plays fast and flat off both sides. He tries to take time away from me. I remember a few times I was a little bit too passive, but there is a few things I feel I could do better. And, obviously, he had a really good week there, qualifying and winning his first match in Brisbane. And then here, getting a nice lucky loser spot with a bye, and winning three good matches so far and winning one match in quallies, as well. It's going to be important that I can sort of try to take away his rhythm and give him a few different looks.”

Milos Raonic

Kecmanovic was lucky indeed. He only met one seeded player in the tournament so far, the 30th seeded Laslo Djere, whom he beat 6-2, 7-6(3). His round of 16 opponent, Yoshihito Nishioka retired after the first set. This will be his first tour-level quarterfinal. He knows his situation is special: “I'm really happy about it, especially since I didn't really do anything before this. Obviously tough to see your opponent retire like that, but I'm still happy that I managed to get to the quarters.”