The first ATP Masters 1000 Series of the season gets underway this afternoon at Indian Wells, California USA and over the past decade the tournament has been dominated by Djokovic, Federer and Nadal who have won nine of the last ten titles between them. Overall, new world number one and defending champion Federer has won five Indian Wells Masters 1000 Series titles, the same as Djokovic, Nadal has won three, that’s thirteen of the last fourteen titles between them.
The first and second seeds do not have the strongest record at Indian Wells and the top-seed has won three of the last ten titles (Last Djokovic 2016) and they were never a losing finalist in this period and the second seed has only won one of the last ten titles (last Djokovic 2014) and they were a losing finalist once in this period (Federer 2015), which does not bode well for Cilic’s chances this week. Seeded players in general have dominated the Indian Wells title over the last decade and one of the top-three seeds has won seven of the last ten titles and a seeded player no higher than twenty won the last ten titles. A seeded player no higher than twelve was a losing finalist nine times in this period (Last Wawrinka 2017) and there has only been one unseeded player to make the final in the period back in 2008.
Based on past statistics the best betting strategy for predicting the tournament winner and finalist looks to be siding with a player seeded no higher than seven, as a player seeded no higher than five has won eight of the last ten titles and a player seeded no higher than seven was a losing finalist seven times over the last decade. On current form I can’t oppose top-seed Federer who is showing no signs of slowing down at the age of 37, and from the bottom half of the draw it could pay dividends to side with sixth-seed Del Potro (12/1), who won the ATP 500 Acapulco title in impressive fashion last weekend.
Bautista Agut (9/2) seeded thirteen resides in the Second quarter of the draw and it looks like he’s starting to reach peak form again after cruising to the ATP 500 Dubai title the week before last. He has winning head-to-head form against the majority of main dangers in his section of the draw, like third-seed Dimitrov, twenty-seventh seed Rublev, seventh-seed Anderson and eleventh-seed Carreno-Busta, and with Anderson the only one from this group playing anywhere near his best at present it’s worth siding with the Spanish number three to win the Second quarter. Moving to the bottom-half of the draw and it could prove profitable to side with fourteenth-seed Schwartzman (5/1) to win the Third quarter. He’s got recent form having won the title in Rio De Janeiro and he has form on hard courts having won fifteen of his twenty-five ATP Tour level matches on the surface in 2017.