There's been a lot of talking going on regarding how much value per square inch resides in the bottom half of the draw of men's singles at Indian Wells. The projected trajectory of those involved is about to became a reality. Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic survived up until this point. For the 4th round, the table is set, and some thrilling encounters are about to be played. Rafael Nadal will face Roger Federer while Djokovic will have a hard clash as Nick Kyrgios will jump in his way. To get there, the Serb, Indian Wells' defending champion, had a difficult task in getting past del Potro.

A deja-vu from Acapulco

A couple of weeks ago, Novak Djokovic took on del Potro in Acapulco, an ATP 500 event. In the end, the Serb prevailed, but he needed a decisive 3 set to get the job done. Now, at Indian Wells, in the 3rd round highlight, the scenario pretty much followed the same frame. The opening was heading towards a tie-break as a result of a toe to toe unfolding. At 6-5 for Djokovic, del Potro delivered a poor game on his own serve allowing his opponent to put away the opener. The 2nd act saw a different del Potro, with a more aggressive approach. Throughout the set, Djokovic lost twice his serve and eventually, the Argentine sealed the deal with 6-4 pushing the encounter into a decider.

But the pressure remained on del Potro's shoulders allowing Djokovic to get in front. A couple of breaks of serve sealed an apparently easy win for the Serb. The final score 7-5 6-4 6-1 propels Djokovic into another test against Kyrgios while for the Argentine the path to the top of the ranking is getting harder than initially thought.

Djokovic's projected trajectory

For the world no. 2, the hardest part of the tournament has just started. The next obstacle, Nick Kyrgios, is having his part of the glory at Indian Wells. Moreover, the young Aussie has a moral leverage as he walked past Djokovic in Acapulco at the end of a compelling straight set win. If he gets past Kyrgios, in Djokovic's way will emerge either Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. For the semis, Kei Nishikori might be the challenge, while for the last Stan Wawrinka seems to dominate the upper half of the draw.