• Nalbandian faces Cilic, Tsonga also in action

    3/11/12 6:50 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Nalbandian faces Cilic, Tsonga also in action David Nalbandian and Marin Cilic will square off on Sunday in Indian Wells. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is also looking for a spot in the third round as he goes up against Michael Llodra.

    (6) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Michael Llodra

    Tsonga and Llodra will be going head-to-head for the fifth time in their careers when the two Frenchmen do battle in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday. All four previous meetings have gone Tsonga's way, although two ended in retirement. Their most recent completed match came last year in Rotterdam, where Tsonga prevailed 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

    Llodra would do well to make this one similarly competitive on an outdoor hard court. The world No. 41, who is always at his best indoors and continued the trend with a runner-up finish in Marseille, outlasted Ernests Gulbis in a third-set tiebreaker on Friday. Tsonga is 13-3 this season with a title in Doha, but he is coming off consecutive losses to Juan Martin Del Potro. Look for Indian Wells' No. 6 seed to advance in straight sets.

    (24) Marin Cilic vs. David Nalbandian

    Cilic's return from a knee injury continues and the Indian Wells draw did not do him any favors. The 6'6'' Croat is going up one of the toughest unseeded players in the field in Nalbandian, and the head-to-head history is not good for Cilic. Nalbandian has won all three of their previous encounters and only once did a match go to three sets.

    Cilic has played in just one tournament this season, losing his Delray Beach opener last week to Jarkko Nieminen in three sets. Nalbandian is a decent 7-4 for the year, which includes a controversial loss to John Isner at the Australian Open and a semifinal in Buenos Aires. The 30-year-old Argentine is coming off a disappointing 6-2, 6-2 first-round loss to Santiago Giraldo in Acapulco. Nalbandian over Cilic in three tight sets is the pick.

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