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Djokovic vs Kohlschreiber ATP Indian Wells Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Djokovic seeks eight straight victory over Kohlschreiber

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 12 Mar 2019
  • Novak Djokovic vs Philipp Kohlschreiber is live from Indian Wells on Tuesday, 12 March from 2:00pm local time/ 9:00pm GMT
  • Djokovic leads 8-1 on head-to-head, and has won seven in a row against the German
Novak Djokovic. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

World No. 1, Novak Djokovic will resume his third-round clash with Philipp Kohlschreiber on Tuesday, after rain washed out the match on Monday night. Djokovic had a 1-0 lead in the opening set when the rains forced the players off court.

Djokovic encountered some trouble in his opening match against American, Bjorn Frantangelo, but the top seed survived a tight first set before pulling away in the second. The pair met at the same stage of the tournament in 2016, with Djokovic winning in three after dropping the first set, and it appeared the Serbian would have to come from behind again on Saturday night when Frantangelo served for the first set at 5-4, but the Serbian broke back to love, took the set on a tie break, before sprinting away with the second set to complete the win after an hour and 30 minutes. It was Djokovic's 50th match victory at Indian Wells, more than he has managed at any other Masters 1000 tournament. 

"The first set was just hanging on to the ropes and trying to win that set", Djokovic reflected. "Then the second set, obviously with the first set under my belt, was slightly better. I ended the match in a positive fashion."

Djokovic is attempting to regain the Indian Wells title after his three-year reign at the tournament was terminated last season, when he suffered an opening round loss to Taro Daniel- a defeat symptomatic of his troubled start to the 2018 season. The 31-year-old was making his return to the tour following elbow surgery, and he looked decidedly out of sorts against Daniel, who was ranked a lowly 109th at that point. 

Djokovic has admitted that he should have given the elbow more time to recover before making that comeback, but it all worked out pretty well for him in the end, as he launched a sensational resurgence in the second half of last season, surging from outside the top 20 to once again become the undisputed No. 1 player in the world. He has won the last three Grand Slam titles, the latest in Australia in January when he absolutely dismantled Rafael Nadal in the final in a statement performance that reiterated the belief that when he is at his best, he is almost unbeatable.

He hasn't been perfect this year, as he fell to Roberto Bautista-Agut in the semi-finals of his season opener in Doha, but he has won eight straight matches since then, seven in Australia, and now one at Indian Wells. 


Philipp Kohlschreiber. (Photo by PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)
When the draw was conducted, one of the major talking points was a potential third round clash between the top seeded Djokovic and Acapulco champion, Nick Kyrgios, but that will not be happening after Philipp Kohlschreiber did a job on the mercurial Australian in the second round. 

Kohlschreiber has put together two superb performances this week, blowing away Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 6-0 in the first round before picking off a characteristically tetchy Kyrgios in the second round on Friday.

Kyrgios was coming off a magnificent week in Acapulco, where he defeated Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, John Isner and Alexander Zverev to claim his fifth career title, and the early evidence from his Indian Wells opener suggested that he had brought that form to California. However, once Kohlschreiber weathered the initial storm, battling back from 0-40 to hold in the fourth game, and from 0-30 in the sixth, Kyrgios gradually lost the plot. The Australian got broken for 4-3, and obliterated his racket after losing his footing on break back point with Kohlschreiber serving for the set. Kyrgios was never quite right after that, and the wily Kohlschreiber was on hand to take full toll, securing the solitary break of the second set in the fifth game, en route a fine 6-4 6-4 victory. 

The 35-year-old has now reached the third round for the fifth consecutive year, and will attempt to get into the Round of 16 for the second straight season, having made the quarters last year- his best ever performance at Indian Wells. His best result this season remains his semi-final run in Auckland, but he had won just one match outside that- until Indian Wells.

Kohlschreiber arrived Indian Wells on a four-match losing streak, following opening round exits in Montpellier, Rotterdam and Dubai, and a second round loss to Joao Sousa at the Australian Open. He had also failed to cross the first hurdle in his season-opener in Doha, losing to Tomas Berdych.

The German may have a series of bad weeks, like he did prior to Indian Wells, but he keeps plugging away in these ATP draws, and comes up with big performances from time to time. He has amassed 8 career titles, and possesses a career-high ranking of 16th, which he achieved in 2012. The German has become more of a top-40 mainstay these days, and has ended each of the last seven seasons inside that bracket.

With a good serve, a heavy forehand, gorgeous backhand and silky hands, Kohlschreiber has got the talents to trouble a lot of top players, but he often falls short against the very best in the world like Djokovic, who has won 8 of their 9 previous matches. His only victory over the Serbian was at Roland Garros way back in 2009. Djokovic has won seven in a row since then, two of them at Indian Wells, where they had their most recent encounter in 2016. Djokovic has also won 12 sets in a row against the German.

It will again be an honest, determined performance by the stylish Kohlschreiber, but all evidence point to another win for the rock solid Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic vs Philipp Kohlschreiber is live from Indian Wells on Tuesday, 12 March from 2:00pm local time/ 9:00pm GMT

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Djokovic vs Kohlschreiber ATP Indian Wells Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Djokovic seeks eight straight victory over Kohlschreiber

Novak Djokovic continues his quest for a record-breaking sixth Indian Wells crown on Monday when he takes on Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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