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The Indian Wells defending champions and world number 5 Taylor Fritz begins the defence of his title with an all-American matchup against the big-serving teenager Ben Shelton, who is enjoying a breakthrough year. Take a look at our predictions for this match below.
The odds in this article were correct at the time of writing, and odds are subject to change. We recommend checking with the bookmaker before placing the bet.
Taylor Fritz vs Ben Shelton – Match Predictions
The second round has thrown up many exciting matches and you can read our tennis predictions and tips covering the games. Below, we look at specific bets for the Fritz vs Shelton tie.
Set 1 Tiebreak
The world number 41 Ben Shelton made his breakthrough into the top 50 during the 2023 Australian Open when in only his second ever Grand Slam he managed to go all the way to the quarterfinals. Shelton did that thanks to not dropping his own serve in any of the opening 4 rounds and hitting over 100 aces. Shelton is not a good returned but his monster serve saw him play 8 tiebreaks in his 5 games in Australia and he often extends the sets.
Fritz is no stranger to going the distance either. The world number 5 and defending Indian Wells champion played 2 tiebreaks just in his last match before this one when he lost in 3 sets to Paul.
All that said, makes us believe that the enticing odds for the first set of the coming match to go to a tiebreak are worth considering.
Set 1 Over 10.5 Games
In continuation from our first betting tip we believe that Fritz will struggle early in the match to find a way to break Shelton’s monster serve. After all this is the first ever meeting between the players and they will certainly need time to find ways to hurt each other. With that in mind, we think set 1 will be a long one.
Taylor Fritz vs Ben Shelton Preview
Read on to learn more about the form in which the Americans enter this clash between them.
The 2022 Indian Wells champion had a disappointing early exit during the first Grand Slam of the year (round 2). Fritz has recovered well from that though and he already has 2 titles this calendar year and 2 other semifinals.
In his most recent outing in Acapulco Fritz beat all of Isner, Shapovalov and Tiafoe before losing a dramatic 3-set semifinal against another American Paul. Fritz played well in all of those matches, but he struggled with the heat and even vomited on court during his epic semifinal battle.
After his amazing Australian Open that saw him climb into the world top 50 Ben Shelton has struggled a bit. Shelton took a deserved holiday after the quarterfinal run in Melbourne and he returned to the tour only in late February. However, in consecutive tournaments he suffered round 1 defeats.
He opened his Indian Wells with a solid clean win against veteran Fognini though – 6-4, 6-1. Yet again, Shelton’s serve wasn’t broken in that match and the young American continues to hit aces with well over 120mph at frightening regularity.
Taylor Fritz vs Ben Shelton Head to Head
This will be the first time that the Americans will go head to head in a tournament.
Taylor Fritz vs Ben Shelton Match Details
- When will this match start? This match is scheduled for Saturday, 11th March, not before 19:30 GMT.
- Who do the bookies favour ahead of this match? The defending champion Taylor Fritz is favourite to win.
- Where can I watch Indian Wells 2023 in the UK? Don’t miss a serve, return, volley or drop-shot of this game on Amazon Prime Video.