INTERVIEW: Taylor Fritz after taking out Matteo Berrettini in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open

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Taylor Fritz vs. Jannik Sinner

Fritz, who underwent knee surgery earlier this year and whose ranking has languished in the 30s since, was due for a big victory. He got it on Tuesday over fifth seed Matteo Berrettini. Can he get another, against another higher-ranked Italian, on Wednesday?

Sinner and Fritz have never played, but they have similar strengths: Each is equally dangerous from the forehand and backhand side. Which means that rather than a match where they probe for weaknesses, they’ll have to find ways to take the initiative in rallies before the other guy does. Sinner is the younger, more solid, more accomplished player, and he would be favored to beat Fritz on most days. But Fritz is in his element in Southern California, and he has the slightly bigger serve. Winner: Fritz

Fritz won 81 percent of his first-serve points in his 1:21 victory over Berrettini.

Fritz won 81 percent of his first-serve points in his 1:21 victory over Berrettini.

Victoria Azarenka vs. Jessica Pegula

Pegula and Azarenka have played twice this year: The American won in straight sets on hard courts at the Australian Open; the Belarusian won in three sets on grass in Berlin. That record would indicate that this will be a hard-fought battle, and so it should be. Azarenka wins less with power than she does with tenacity these days, and Pegula is a patient grinder who loves nothing more than to hit one more ball into the court than her opponent. Vika has the better pedigree as a former No. 1 and former Indian Wells champion, but Pegula has looked good so far this week. Winner: Pegula

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Pegula broke Svitolina five times on 14 break-point chances.

Pegula broke Svitolina five times on 14 break-point chances.

Alexander Zverev vs. Gael Monfils

Call it the Zverev revenge tour. Yesterday he beat Andy Murray for the first time in three tries. Tonight he’ll try to beat Monfils for the first time in four tries. The Frenchman has never dropped a set to the German, but that stat comes with a big asterisk: They haven’t played since 2016, when a 19-year-old Zverev was still finding his way on tour.

While Monfils will still be the crowd favorite for this late match, Zverev will be the clear favorite. He’s playing the most confident tennis of his career right now, having lost just once since Wimbledon—to Novak Djokovic, in five sets, at the US Open. Zverev says he doesn’t like the slow conditions in the desert, and they’ll be especially slow at night. But he should have a clear advantage in holding serve: He has one of the best in the game, and while Monfils has many upsides, his return has never been one of them. Winner: Zverev