Alexander Zverev will face Jenson Brooksby at the Indian Wells Masters.
Date: 10 October 2021
Tournament: BNP Paribas Open
Round: Second round (Round of 64)
Venue: Indian Wells, USA
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Prize money: $8,761,725
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK – Amazon Prime Video
Alexander Zverev vs Jenson Brooksby preview
Third seed Alexander Zverev will begin his 2021 Indian Wells campaign against highly-rated American youngster Jenson Brooksby in the second round.
Brooksby overcame the challenge of qualifier Cem Ilkel in his first-round match, winning 7-6(5), 6-4 on his Indian Wells debut. The 20-year-old was exceptional on serve; he dropped just four points on his first serve, won 68% of the points on his second, and did not face a break point throughout the fixture.
Zverev, meanwhile, received a bye in the first round by virtue of his ranking. The German will be making his fifth appearance at Indian Wells, which is the only hardcourt Masters 1000 event that Zverev has never made the quarterfinals.
The Olympic champion’s best result at the BNP Paribas Open came in 2016 when he reached the fourth round. Since then, he has fallen in the third round twice and in the second round once.
That said, Zverev is a much-improved player now and is arguably only behind Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev when it comes to hardcourt prowess. His form during the American hardcourt swing attests to that; the German won the title in Cincinnati and made the semifinals of the US Open, where he pushed Djokovic to five sets.
Another player who offered some stiff resistance to the Serb at the US Open was Jenson Brooksby. The American took the opening set against Djokovic in their fourth-round clash in New York before running out of steam and losing in four sets.
Brooksby announced himself on tour in July this year by reaching the finals in Newport. He then went on to make the semifinals in Washington before reaching the fourth round at the US Open, his best Slam result to date.
Alexander Zverev vs Jenson Brooksby head-to-head
Alexander Zverev and Jenson Brooksby have never faced each other on tour before, which is why their head-to-head stands at 0-0.
Alexander Zverev vs Jenson Brooksby prediction
Alexander Zverev training ahead of the BNP Paribas Open
This matchup is an interesting one on paper. Both players are extremely solid in defense and can neutralize big-hitters without breaking much of a sweat.
The conditions at Indian Wells are rather slow, meaning Alexander Zverev’s normally mammoth serve will not be as threatening. As such, Brooksby will fancy his chances in the return games, especially if Zverev struggles to hit his spots.
Hitting through the American will not be an easy task given the slowness of the surface and Zverev will have to be far more aggressive than he usually is in order to close out the rallies. That, in turn, could lead to more unforced errors from the German’s racket, boosting the chances of an upset.
Prediction: Jenson Brooksby to win in three sets.