» » COURTSIDE REPORTER: Johnson must topple Federer to advance; Fritz out

COURTSIDE REPORTER: Johnson must topple Federer to advance; Fritz out

BNP PARIBAS OPEN | Indian Wells CA | Tuesday March 14

We’re on the pulse of all things Indian Wells, keeping up with all your favorite SoCal athletes as they compete under the desert sun!

All eyes are on the Men’s draw on Tuesday, as the so-called ‘Group of Death’ begins to unravel and its most significant casualties creep inevitably close. Alongside Americans Steve Johnson (Redondo Beach), Taylor Fritz (Palos Verdes), and Jack Sock, the big three comprised of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic are on the verge of collision as final rounds approach.

Steve Johnson (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Perhaps the most appealing match of the day could be Johnson and Federer. The two have met only once, with Federer prevailing last year at Wimbledon. The winner of the match would potentially face Nadal – then Djokovic – to reach an Indian Wells final on Sunday. Needless to say, if the eventual champion emerges from Johnson/Federer, the win would be richly earned.

The Taylor Fritz fairytale concluded today as the young upstart fought to overcome a first set deficit but ultimately fell in three frames to Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Be sure to check out tomorrow’s profile on Taylor Fritz and his impressive run! Donald Young has also advanced, and will face Kei Nishikori in Men’s fourth round action.

On the women’s side, Lauren Davis continues to fly under the radar in Indian Wells, and she looks to extend her streak tonight against Kristina Mladenovic of France. Concurrent, Madison Keys will face the formidable Caroline Wozniacki.

Venus Williams is currently battling qualifier Shuai Peng in 95-degree desert heat. With a win, 11th seeded Williams could meet the adjusted top seed (in Serena Williams’ absence) Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals.

At this time tomorrow, we’ll know who’s still alive in the ‘Group of Death,’ and Women’s quarterfinals will be underway from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden!