Indian Wells Men's Quarter-Final Tips: Nadal to be too strong for Kyrgios

Quarter-final action at the Indian Wells Masters gets underway this evening with Rafa Nadal facing Nick Kyrgios, and Carlos Alcaraz meeting Cameron Norrie. Dan Weston previews the two matches...

Nadal edges past Opelka in tiebreaks

It took two tie-breaks, but Rafa Nadal ousted the big-serving Reilly Opelka in straight sets yesterday in California, with my prediction over the last couple of months that Opelka's tiebreak over performance from last season would mean-revert starting to take effect. The King of Clay faces Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-final, after the Australian benefited via a walkover from Jannik Sinner last night.

King of Clay looks a strong favourite over Kyrgios

Nadal is a 1.46Back Rafa Nadal -2.5 games at around 1.70 favourite to pick up the win here, which is a considerably bigger price than he has been in their last three meetings - the previous one was at the Australian Open in 2020, where Nadal was around the 1.20 mark.

I'm surprised Nadal is this big, to be honest. He's not lost a match this season and despite Kyrgios' big-serving reputation, Nadal has a higher service points won percentage on hard court over the last 12 months.

Add to that Nadal's famed return game - he's running almost 10% higher for return points won over the same sample - and you can see why he's been a very strong favourite in their more recent previous meetings.

The game handicap lines are still forming on the Exchange, but we should be able to get around the 1.70 mark on Nadal giving up a 2.5 game head start, which looks decent enough to me. The pre-match line for those willing to take a shorter price looks fine too.

Prices reversed for Alcaraz v Norrie

Cameron Norrie was the shock winner of this event last year and the Brit has made it through into the quarter-finals again as he attempts to defend his title. He impressed in eliminating the talented young American, Jenson Brooksby, last night, but faces a tough test in these slower conditions against Carlos Alcaraz Garfia, who looks destined to be at the top of the ATP Tour for many years to come.

The duo actually met at the US Open in August last year, with Alcaraz winning in straight sets at around a 3.00 underdog price, and the market lines are virtually reversed today. It's Alcaraz who is the 1.41 favourite, with Norrie that 3.35 underdog.

Alcaraz is a phenomenal talent - of that there is no doubt - but whether this justifies such a short price against opposition who is 11-2 on hard court this year is another matter entirely. I can see why Alcaraz is priced up as favourite here, but surely if there is any value, it is on Norrie for the second quarter-final.

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