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Ricky’s picks for Day 7 in Indian Wells, including Medvedev vs. Zverev

Daniil Medvedev headlines a full schedule of fourth-round action at the Indian Wells Masters on Tuesday, as he faces Alexander Zverev. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Tommy Paul are also aiming for a place in the quarterfinals.

Here are my previews and picks for the two matchups.

(5) Daniil Medvedev vs. (12) Alexander Zverev

Medevedev is not at all happy about the slow conditions at the BNP Paribas Open, but he has played his way into the fourth round and extended his winning streak to 16 matches. The world No. 7 disposed of Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 6-3 in his opener but a night match against Ilya Ivashka on Sunday was more difficult, as Medvedev’s run of 18 sets to the good came to an end. Nonetheless, the 27-year-old recovered from a mid-match hiccup to prevail 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

Standing in his way of the quarterfinals on Tuesday afternoon is a familiar foe in Zverev. They have squared off on 12 previous occasions and the head-to-head series is all tied up at six wins apiece. Zverev triumphed 6-4, 6-4 in the championship match of the 2021 Nitto ATP Finals, but before that Medvedev had won five in a row. Even though the 14th-ranked German has done well to reach the last 16 in the desert, he is still far from his pre-injury best. There will undoubtedly be a whole host of long rallies in Tuesday’s matchup, and based on respective current form Medvedev will win them a vast majority of the time.

Pick: Medvedev in 2

(17) Tommy Paul vs. (8) Felix Auger-Aliassime

Much unlike Medvedev, Paul finds the conditions in Indian Wells to be just about perfect for his game. The 19th-ranked American has enjoyed plenty of success on both hard courts and clay throughout his career and these Indian Wells conditions are playing almost like a combination of the two. Paul has been especially on fire this season. The 25-year-old is 14-4 with a semifinal showing at the Australian Open, a runner-up performance in Acapulco, and Indian Wells victories over Jan-Lennard Struff and Hubert Hurkacz.

Up next for Paul on Tuesday is a first-ever meeting with Auger-Aliassime, who has advanced by beating Pedro Martinez and Francisco Cerundolo. Those are decent results against players who enjoy the current climate in Indian Wells, but both were tough two-setters and Paul is a considerably superior opponent. Auger-Aliassime was just 8-5 for his 2023 campaign going into Indian Wells, with three losses to guys ranked 67th or worse. This is a great opportunity for Paul to maintain his fine form and deliver another huge result at a big tournament.

Pick: Paul in 3

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.