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  • Fish faces Tsonga, Raonic opens against Cilic

    3/12/13 4:08 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Fish faces Tsonga, Raonic opens against Cilic Mardy Fish will be back on the court against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Tuesday in Indian Wells. Milos Raonic and Marin Cilic are also looking for a place in the fourth round.

    (32) Mardy Fish vs. (8) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

    Fish and Tsonga will be going head-to-head for the fourth time in their careers when they collide in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday. Tsonga has won all three of their previous encounters, including most recently last summer at Wimbledon via a 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-4 decision. That came just before Fish halted his career at the U.S. Open due to health problems. The 31-year-old American is finally back on the court and he won his first match on Sunday, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 over countryman Bobby Reynolds.

    Tsonga scored an entertaining, hard-fought over James Blake in his Indian Wells opener. The Frenchman's 7-6(6), 6-4 victory improved his 2013 record to 10-3, which includes a recent title in Marseille. Fish's play so far this fortnight (in both singles and doubles) has been encouraging, but this is a big step up in competition for a rusty competitor. Tsonga in straight sets is the pick.

    (12) Marin Cilic vs. (17) Milos Raonic

    Cilic and Raonic will be squaring off for the second time in their careers on Tuesday in Indian Wells. Their only prior engagement came two years ago on the indoor hard courts of Valencia, where Cilic prevailed 6-4, 6-4. The 6'6'' Croat is generally a fast starter when it comes to seasons and this one is no different. He owns a 12-3 record--which includes a title in Zagreb--after taking care of Albert Ramos 7-6(7), 6-2 on Sunday.

    Raonic has a similar record in 2013, 9-3 with one title (his third straight in San Jose). The Canadian has not yet played a match this fortnight, as he got a walkover from Michael Llodra following a first-round bye. That may not be advantageous for Raonic, who has not taken the court since a first-round Memphis loss to Jack Sock. With conditions slightly slower than the world No. 17 would like, Cilic in three sets is the pick.

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