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Ricky’s preview and picks for Day 2 in Indian Wells, including Humbert vs. Rune

Holger Rune takes on Ugo Umbert in Indian Wells. Photo credit: Pete Staples/USTA

By Ricky Dimon

Holger Rune and Tennys Sandgren earned their spots in the Indian Wells main draw the hard way, battling through qualifying. They now have respective meetings with Ugo Humbert and Botic Van de Zandschulp on Friday.

Here are my preview and picks for two of the best matchups.

Ugo Humbert vs. (Q) Holger Rune

Rune’s march inside the top 100 at only 18 years old has been impressive, and he heads into the BNP Paribas Open at a career-high 86th in the world. Successful qualification earlier this week was no surprise, but main-draw competition on the main tour has proven to be a whole different beast. The Dane is just 1-6 in such situations this season and 12-20 in his career.

The good news for Rune is that he has plenty of recent wins under his belt–albeit not at the top level–and Humbert most definitely does not. Humbert is 1-5 this year and dating all the way back to the Toronto Masters last summer he is a horrendous 1-10 in his last 11 matches. In conditions in which the 42nd-ranked Frenchman will likely have to play a lot of long rallies, it’s hard to see him hitting his way out of a slump against a more confident opponent.

Pick: Rune in 3

Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands in action. EPA-EFE/JASON O’BRIEN

(Q) Tennys Sandgren vs. Botic Van de Zandschulp

Van de Zandschulp and Sandgren will also be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers on Friday. Sandgren was part of the last qualifying match, which went late in the day on Wednesday before the American finally outlasted John Millman 6-7(3), 7-6(8), 7-6(5) after two hours and 57 minutes. It was some much-needed success for Sandgren, who is 0-2 in ATP main draws this season and had been 1-7 in his last eight matches overall dating back to the 2021 Indian Wells tournament.

The story is a much different one for Van de Zandschulp, who broke onto the scene in a big way last summer thanks in part to a quarterfinal run at the U.S. Open. Up to a career-high No. 47 in the world, the 26-year-old Dutchman has already won seven matches on the main tour in 2022–including a third-round effort at the Australian Open. Van de Zandschulp is simply at a different level right now, so this should be a straightforward result.

Pick: Van de Zandschulp in 2

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.