This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
The BNP Paribas Open continues on the hard courts of Indian Wells, California on Monday with third-round action for both the men and women. The quality of matches usually rises substantially in the third round as seeds start to face off against each other. A couple of the brightest young stars on the ATP Tour are poised to keep advancing, while an unseeded woman coming off an upset win has earned herself a favorable third-round draw against a player who struggles on this surface. Match odds are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Every player left in the draw has already taken the court here, giving us a chance to take a look at their current form. That small-sample knowledge, coupled with the larger contexts of players' careers and recent performances should help identify which favorites are likely to cruise to victory and which underdogs are ready to pull off upsets. The aforementioned underdogs are highlighted in the Upset Alert section, the Lock It In section covers players who can safely be considered overwhelming favorites, while the Value Bet section recommends enticing options in matchups that are considered closer to toss-ups.
Sorribes Tormo's a substantial underdog, but she won't be intimidated against her fellow Spaniard. Badosa has a narrow 3-2 edge in their career head-to-head, though the No. 5 seed won their only previous hard-court meeting. There's plenty of familiarity between the 24-year-old Badosa and the 25-year-old Sorribes Tormo, which should play in the latter's favor as she looks to score an upset and add to her trio of wins over top-15 opponents over the past 12 months.
Lock It In
Bonzi has planted himself firmly inside the top 100 and has picked up a pair of quality wins here with a 6-3, 7-5 triumph over countryman Arthur Rinderknech followed by a 6-3, 6-4 upset of Lorenzo Sonego. Sinner presents a substantial step up from that level of competition, though. The 20-year-old Italian appears to be getting to the point where players outside the top 20 rarely give him much trouble anymore. Sinner's 12-2 in 2022 with losses to Stefanos Tsitsipas and Hubert Hurkacz, and the No. 10 seed has dropped just three sets in the 12 wins. All signs point to a straightforward Sinner victory here.
Kontaveit still seems to have a mental block at Grand Slams, but she's been as good as anyone on the WTA Tour outside of those events. In her last six tournaments besides the Australian Open, Kontaveit has three titles, two runner-up finishes and a semifinal result. Vondrousova has a 2-1 edge in their career head-to-head, but Kontaveit won their most recent meeting in October on indoor hard court at the Kremlin Cup.
It's easy to get caught up in the moment and just look at each player's most recent match, but Tsitsipas' overall body of work gives him the clear edge here. At age 23, Tsitsipas is currently ranked No. 5 and has made the semifinals or better at five different Grand Slams, including this year's Australian Open. On the other hand, Brooksby's still establishing himself as a regular on the tour at age 21. Tsitsipas was far from his best against Jack Sock in his previous match but did what great players do and found a way to come away with a 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-6 (5) win. Brooksby's riding high after a 6-0, 6-3 drubbing of Karen Khachanov, but this would still be a monumental upset if the young American can pull it off, so Tsitsipas should be expected to take care of business at the end of the day.
Paolini's playing the best tennis of her career at age 26, as the Italian's coming off a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 upset of No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka. The confidence from that victory should carry over against Golubic, who hit a career high ranking of 35 when the seeds were made at this tournament but has since dropped to 51. Golubic's ranking is propped up by a quarterfinal run at Wimbledon, but she's a lackluster hard-court player, as evidenced by her 0-11 combined career record at the Australian Open and US Open.