This is the third match on Stadium 1 as Tiafoe, the home favourite, looks to continue his good form in challengers and qualifying this season. Lajovic is a good opponent for Tiafoe because he is beatable and the young American has the ability to hit through him.
Tiafoe has started the year reasonably well considering his taming and experience. He hasn’t been able to get a massive win over a top-level player but he has qualified for three of the four tournaments his entered thus far. He is also coming off a confidence building performance in which he took Del Potro to a third set tiebreaker in Acapulco last week. He has an 11-6 win-loss record for the season so far. Lajovic hasn’t had the best of starts but he hasn’t taken any losses the he shiukdnt have this season. He was taken to three sets in his first qualifying match of this tournament but in the qualifying final went through comfortably. Lajovic has a 6-6 win-loss record for the season so far.
Indian Wells Form
Tiafoe has only ever played here last year and he lost in the second round to David Goffin but he did force him to a third set tiebreaker so it was a very tight affair. His other match last year was a win over another American young gun in Taylor Fritz. Lajovic has played in Indian Wells every year since 2014 and he has never one his first round match but he’s always qualified for the tournament. He has lost Harrison, Rosol and Delbonis over the years so he hasn’t been losing to top oppponents and I would expect it’s now becoming a mental barrier for the Serbian.
Head To Head Record
These two have never played each other.
I think the Tiafoe will be on a high and adrenaline run when he comes out to play his match at the start and Lajovic will be nervous and have the past three first round losses on his mind. If Tiafoe is playing on adrenaline and playing his best tennis Lajovic won’t be able to do much and the American will rush to a comfortable 6-0 set. Tiafoe will have to come down and if Lajovic has shaken of his nerves for the second set then I believe he will level the score with a 6-2 set. In the final set I think both players will be playing at a good level and TIafoe will just outskill Lajovic and take the third set 6-4.