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Friday tennis acca tips: Jannik Sinner to continue unbeaten run at the expense of Carlos Alcaraz

Planet Sport offers picks for the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals and the tournament winners at Indian Wells this weekend.

The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells is down to the last four with the women's singles semi-finals highlighting Friday evening and the men taking centre stage on Saturday.

World No 1 Iga Swiatek has protected her rankings points from last season and strengthened her grip on the top spot but also looks the most likely to sweep to the title at Indian Wells.

Swiatek faces Marta Kostyuk in the last four's first match.

Coco Gauff comes up against Maria Sakkari in the other semi-final with both women looking to add to existing WTA 1000 titles.

On Saturday Sinner is set for another showdown with Carlos Alcaraz which must delight organisers.

Equally delightful for the home crowd is the presence of home hope Tommy Paul who faces Daniil Medvedev for a spot in Sunday's final.

Here we make our picks for the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals and the tournament winners.

 

ATP Indian Wells: Jannik Sinner vs Carlos Alcaraz | Pick: Sinner

ATP Indian Wells: Tommy Paul vs Daniil Medvedev | Pick: Medvedev

Tournament winner pickJannik Sinner

WTA Indian Wells: Iga Swiatek vs Marta Kostyuk | Pick: Swiatek

WTA Indian Wells: Cori Gauff vs Maria Sakkari | Pick: Gauff

Tournament winner pick: Iga Swiatek

 

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ATP Indian Wells: Jannik Sinner vs Carlos Alcaraz

Sinner and Alcaraz are locked at 4-4 in their head-to-head but one man will stand tall after this encounter.

Sinner is still yet to lose a singles match in 2024 but Alcaraz looks to have found his best form again as well.

This one is tough to call, but Sinner stands out as the tournament favourite, and it speaks to his terrific play recently that he is favoured over Alcaraz by so many.

These players met at this stage last season, with Alcaraz coming out on top, but since then, Sinner has notched two wins over the Spaniard in Miami and Beijing.

 

ATP Indian Wells: Tommy Paul vs Daniil Medvedev

Medvedev has bested Paul in both of their previous meetings on the ATP Tour and will thrive on being the pantomime villain for the Indian Wells crowd.

Paul will have plenty of incentive to pull off the upset in front of a home crowd as he chases a top-ten breakthrough.

Medvedev's toughest match at Indian Wells so far came against another American with Sebastian Korda pushing him to three sets.

Medvedev has been patient throughout the tournament, biding his time to make critical breakthroughs across seven hours of tennis in the desert, he should be out to wear down Paul as well and book another date with Sinner or Alcaraz.

 

WTA Indian Wells: Iga Swiatek vs Marta Kostyuk

Swiatek certainly won't be cast as a villain here but the crowd's sympathies might drift toward underdog Marta Kostyuk.

Swiatek has an incredible edge in terms of big match experience over Kostyuk though for all the crowd might help her out.

The only previous meeting between the players came at the 2021 French Open with Swiatek taking the honours on that day.

There is little difference between the time on court between these two despite Kostyuk getting a walkover win in the third round.

 

WTA Indian Wells: Cori Gauff vs Maria Sakkari

Maria Sakkari has shown a lot of fight to reach the semi-finals and will hope that this effort kickstarts her 2024 campaign but she will be up against it in the semi-final showdown against Coco Guaff.

Sakkari does lead their head-to-head 4-3 but Gauff's recent big wins tip the scales in the American's favour.

Gauff will be well-supported as the last US hope in the women's field and that could pose some challenges for Sakkari.

Gauff has won the last two meetings between these players handily and that should be repeated at Indian Wells.

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