The Picks: BNP Indian Wells: Federer vs Djokovic – Again

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BNP Indian Wells, finals, Sunday, March 21

Novak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer

These two seem to never stop and it appears that they can go on and on until eternity.  They have already played each other 37 times (thank you very much said Federer, who leads Djokovic 20-17 head to head). When they face off, they understand how the game is played. Yes, this is science, not a boring sport.

They are very intelligent, they think about each other all the time, and will change it up when they are losing. For example, if Novak has decided to smoke his two-handed backhand across the court and not push the ball down the line so the Swiss will grab his forehand and begin to fire away, then Federer will have to chop his one-handers very low so if he gets a chance, he can rush up to  the net and challenge his passing shots. If Federer is serving extremely well, he can use his serve and volley and put the ball away until Djokovic is crunching the returns super low and sharp where Federer has to back off until he can be sitting on top of the net and putting away his sharp volleys.

The reason why Federer has won their last two matches in Shanghai in 2014 and Dubai a month ago was because he dictated the most points. It was very close. At the 2014 Wimbledon final, Djokovic schooled him at the very end.

Who will win Indian Wells on Sunday? Last year in California, Djokovic barely beat Federer. This time, as both of the men who just said, it will be extremely close. Whoever is going to win will nail his first serves, mix up his backhands, jump on of his forehands and arrive at the nets knowing that you can put it away precisely. It’s a dead even, but once again, Djokovic will win at Indian Wells, this time over Federer in three sets.

 Simon Halep vs Jelena Jankovic

Jankovic is full of life again. The former No. 1 was fairly mediocre during the past two years, being OK at times, but she looked a little slower and wasn’t powerful enough on her forehand and serves. But over the past two weeks, she has been very solid at Indian Wells, attacking with her lethal backhand, mixing up her forehands, and coming forward towards the net and crisply pushing them away. The 30-year-old is smiling all the time, saying that she’s in the zone.

However, Simona Halep has looked much better over the past month or so and she owns the Serbian 3-1. The 23-year-old is quicker, she can crunches her forehands and backhands and, even though she is short, she has a very decent big serves.

Yes, Jankovic has more experience, but the Romanian has enough experience to bother her. Halep will be thrilled if Jankovic will try to out-run her, and when she has the Serbian way off the court, she will rise up and nail the balls into the corner.

Jankovic won Indian Wells in 2010 and truly deserved it. Then, she still had a real chance to win a Grand Slam. Now, she looks very good on occasion, but she isn’t strong enough to go all the way.

Halep has a real chance at a Grand Slam soon. But fi,rst and foremost, she has to win Indian Wells. Then we can talk grabbing Roland Garros in two months time. She must start in California, showing the world how talented she is. Halep will win in two sets.

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