• Berdych, Anderson back at it in Indian Wells

    3/14/13 6:31 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Berdych, Anderson back at it in Indian Wells Tomas Berdych is going up against Kevin Anderson for the sixth time in the last 15 months on Thursday in Indian Wells. A place in the semifinals of the season's first Masters event is at stake.

    Tomas Berdych and Kevin Anderson will be going head-to-head for the sixth time in their careers, for the second time this season, and for the sixth time in the last 15 months when they square off again in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday afternoon.

    Berdych has won all five of their previous encounters, including three on hard courts. Almost all of them, however, have been competitive. They most recently faced each other at the Australian Open (for a second straight season), where Berdych dominated the first two sets before taking the third 15-13 in a tiebreaker.

    As long as Anderson's elbow holds up, this should not be the weak link of a blockbuster quarterfinal lineup in Indian Wells because both men are in outstanding form. Anderson, despite undergoing minor elbow surgery after his Melbourne showing, is a stellar 13-3 for the year. The world No. 37 opened this fortnight with wins over Victor Hanescu, David Ferrer, and Jarkko Nieminen before ousting Gilles Simon in three sets on Wednesday.

    Berdych owns a 17-4 record for his 2013 campaign following straight-set victories at the expense of Mischa Zverev, Florian Mayer, and Richard Gasqquet. The sixth-ranked Czech is still in search of his first title of the season, but he finished runner-up in Marseille and Rotterdam in addition to a quarterfinal run Down Under.

    Picking Anderson to win is risky because you never know when his elbow could act up (as it did in a Delray Beach loss to John Isner), but he has to get over the hump against Berdych at some point, right? The 6'8'' South African is playing the best tennis of his career, so look for him to pull off the upset in three sets.

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