Wawrinka, Thiem, Carreno Busta, Cuevas Eye Indian Wells QF Spots
Top half of the draw compete in last eight action on Thursday
• Top 10 players and Top 2 Pablos will battle in the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals on Thursday when No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka meets No. 8 seed Dominic Thiem and No. 21 seed Pablo Carreno Busta faces No. 27 seed Pablo Cuevas. Three of the four boast one-handed backhands (Wawrinka, Thiem and Cuevas) and all four are bidding for their first Indian Wells semi-final.
• Wawrinka rallied Wednesday after lucky loser Yoshihito Nishioka served for their fourth-round match twice. The top-ranked Swiss owns a 2-1 FedEx ATP Head 2 Head record against Thiem. He is 0-2 in Indian Wells quarter-finals, falling to Novak Djokovic in 2008 and Roger Federer in 2011. Wawrinka has reached as many ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals as Grand Slam finals (three).
• Thiem has not played Wawrinka since breaking into the Top 35 of the Emirates ATP Rankings on May 25, 2015. The Rio de Janeiro champion is already appearing in his eighth tournament of the season, spanning six countries, four continents and three surfaces. Thiem is 17-6 in 2017, tied with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Grigor Dimitrov for the most wins on the ATP World Tour this season.
• Carreno Busta, who lost to Thiem in the Rio de Janeiro final, has played even more tennis than the Austrian this season (14-6 singles, 12-4 doubles). The 25-year-old is No. 23 in singles and No. 19 in doubles -- good for the second-highest combined ranking on tour behind Jack Sock (18s, 17d). Carreno Busta reached the quarter-finals following a bye, a walkover and two wins over qualifiers.
• Cuevas defeated Carreno Busta en route to the Sao Paulo title, which he won on Monday, March 6 at 7:36 pm local time following multiple rain delays. The Uruguayan started the year 1-4, including a first-round loss to World No. 138 Arthur De Greef as defending champion at Rio de Janeiro. Cuevas is 7-0 since then, including his fourth-round win over De Greef’s countryman David Goffin.
• Carreno Busta and Cuevas share more than a name. They captured the Rio de Janeiro doubles title on February 25 after saving a match point against Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in the semis. Thursday’s match is the biggest singles quarter-final of their respective careers. Carreno Busta and Cuevas are both appearing in their first ATP Masters 1000 or Grand Slam quarter-final.
• Fifteen of the Top 20 singles players in the Emirates ATP Rankings were in the BNP Paribas Open doubles draw. None reached the semi-finals, which begin on Thursday with No. 6 seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram against Gilles Muller and Sam Querrey. Klaasen and Ram, the Delray Beach champions, eliminated Rafael Nadal in the second round and Djokovic in the quarter-finals.
Watch your favourite players work on their games by taking in a live stream at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.