Match Preview: Novak Djokovic v Kyle Edmund

This is the fourth match on Stadium 1 and it marks the beginning of Djokovic’s attempt to defend his title and not let the gap between him and Murray grow bigger in the ranking points. Edmund had a good straight set win over Gastao Elias in the first round and it’s Djokovic’s opening match, obviously.

Recent Form

Djokovic started the year really well when he captured the title in Dubai and defeated Murray in final but he’s take two losses since then that he shouldn’t have, to Istomin at the AO and to Kyrgios in Acapulco. He hasn’t really gotten in his groove yet but he’s had big successes at Indian Wells before some he’ll be looking for that to trigger some happy memories that he can translate out on to the court. Djokovic has 9-2 win-loss record for the season at the moment. Edmund hasn’t had the best start to the year despite reaching two 250 quarterfinals he has been losing matches he shouldn’t be losing at this stage in his career. He has been looking good when he’s on though so I wouldn’t be completely counting him out of doing some damage to the tennis master that is Djokovic. Edmund has a 7-6 win-loss record for the season so far.

Indian Wells Form

Djokovic has always bought his best tennis to Indian Wells and he has played here every year since 2006. He has only ever failed to reach the quarterfinals twice, in 2006 and 2010, and he is a five time champion here so he feels comfortable on these courts to say the least. His worst result here came in 2006, his first appearance, when  he went out in the first round but it has been all good since then. He is three-time defending champion this year so there is quite a bit of pressure on him to perform well this week. The only other time that Edmund played here was last year, where he fell in the first to Guido Pella in three tight sets. He probably should have won the match against Pella but after getting his 2017 opener under his belt I don’t think he won’t be feeling very pressure.

Head to Head Record

These two have played each other twice before, Djokovic emerging victorious in straight sets on both occasions. There first meeting was this time last year in the second round of the Miami Open on a hard court and Djokovic got through that one quite easily as he emerged victorious 6-3, 6-3. Djokovic was playing his best tennis back then having just come off Indian Wells and Australian Open titles which was when he was battering everyone in the game, so you can’t blame the Brit for that loss. Their other meeting was last year at the US Open in the fourth round and Djokovic got through 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. Djokovic wasn’t playing his best tennis at that time so I would’ve thought Edmund could’ve done more but it obviously wasn’t his day. I don’t think these meetings will play much of part in either of their minds as they step on the court tomorrow.

My Prediction

I think Djokovic will go out on to the Stadium 1 and thrive of the energy and memories from over the years when he first goes out on to that court and because of that, and the intimidation of playing a top five player, Djokovic will blitz the opener 6-0. I think there will be some more competition in the second set as Edmund will be getting in to a groove by then. I don’t think there will be any breaks of serve until 4-4 or when Djokovic is up 5-4 because Edmund will be starting to gain confidence and take risks but might get shaky and nervous trying to stay in it and Djokovic will take the the match 6-3, 6-4.

 

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