Interesting matchup on Sunday at Indian Wells, with Kevin Anderson set to take on Lorenzo Sonego in the second round.
Anderson is coming off a decent 7-5 6-2 win over Jordan Thompson, although that can’t be qualified as an impressive victory considering Thompson’s bad form. In fact, Anderson has not been impressive lately at all. He struggled during the US hard court swing, and entered Indian Wells on the back of two ugly losses against Bolt and Evans – unable to find much consistency at all.
As opposed to Anderson, Sonego came into Indian Wells playing very well. He was excellent last week in San Diego, routing Basilashvili and Korda before losing to eventual champion Casper Ruud. Here at IW, Sonego had a bye in the first round, so this will be his opening match.
There have not been any H2H matches between Anderson and Sonego, so this will be the first. The hard court surface should represent an even playing field. While Anderson is a more natural hard courter, the slower conditions should work in his opponent’s favor.
I am surprised Sonego is priced as high as 1.85 here, and I think his odds will drop. This is not a fair price. Sonego is much better than Anderson right now, and I think he would win this match at least 7 times out of 10.
Anderson is really not doing very well. Prior to Indian Wells he played in San Diego, where after winning a first set tiebreak, he was then completely outplayed by Alex Bolt (!!) in the second qualifying round. He then entered the main draw as a lucky loser and again was below average in a straight set loss to Dan Evans.
Yes, he did beat Jordan Thompson pretty comfortably in his opening match this week, but Thompson is in horrible form. The man was coming off a two set loss against the 900th ranked August Holmgren the previous week.
It seems injuries have taken a toll on Anderson, particularly considering his height, build and advancing age. He is definitely not the same player anymore, he’s a step slower, which often makes him late to the ball, missing shots he would have made in the past. Even his huge serve is losing power at times, especially late in matches.
Lorenzo Sonego on the other hand was quite impressive in the same San Diego tournament, dominating good opposition (Korda, Basilashvili), before getting blown out himself by Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals. Still, Sonego was much more competitive than the 1-6 4-6 scoreline suggests, and he had some real good moments against a Top 10 player who, by his own admission, was playing arguably the best tennis of his life last week.
I’m really liking Sonego here, he looked great in San Diego and has been pretty good during this entire US hard court swing, beating guys like Fucsovics or Alcaraz, even pushing Tsitsipas to the very end in a tight three setter in Cincinnati. He’s aggressive and is finding exceptional angles, something which will create massive problems for the slow footed Anderson.
The Italian should win this, and I don’t see this crazy price standing for much longer.