• Anderson back in action, Simon faces Paire

    3/11/13 3:52 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Anderson back in action, Simon faces Paire Kevin Anderson will be back on the court two days after toppling David Ferrer when he meets Jarkko Nieminen on Monday in Indian Wells. Gilles Simon and Benoit Paire are also in action.

    Jarkko Nieminen vs. Kevin Anderson

    Nieminen and Anderson will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers when they do battle in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday. Anderson is dominating the head-to-head series 3-0 and all three of his victories have come on hard courts. He prevailed twice last season; 6-2, 7-6(4) at the Shanghai Masters and 7-6(4), 6-3 just a few weeks later in Basel.

    An elbow injury halted Anderson just when he was playing some of the best tennis of his career earlier this year, but he is back on track in Indian Wells. The 6'8'' South African, a finalist in Sydney and a fourth-round finisher at the Australian Open, has ousted Victor Hanescu and David Ferrer so far in Indian Wells. Nieminen survived Igor Sijsling in round one then bludgeoned Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-0 on Saturday. The Finn is also playing well, but clearly this is not a good matchup for him--especially not with his opponent in this kind of form. Anderson in straight sets is the pick.

    (13) Gilles Simon vs. Benoit Paire

    Simon and Paire will be meeting for the third time in their careers and for the second time this season when the two Frenchman face each other on Monday. Paire has won both of their previous encounters; 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 two years ago in Rotterdam and 7-5, 7-6(4) last month in Montpellier. The world No. 40 will have a good chance at another upset because he is in solid form this year. Paire has nine ATP victories after taking out Lukasz Kubot and Philipp Kohlschreiber so far in Indian Wells.

    This all-French matchup almost did not come to fruition, as Simon survived a major scare in his opener on Saturday. The 13th seed trailed Paolo Lorenzi 5-1 in the third set and saved match points in two different games before winning the last six games of the match. Simon is 12-5 for his 2013 campaign, which includes two quarterfinal showings along with a pair of semifinals. Based on head-to-head series and the fact that Paire can get hot with a few wins under his belt, look for the underdog to advance in three sets.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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