Date/Time: Thursday 14th March 2019 (Kick-off 4:00 AM CET).
There has been real signs that Philipp Kohlschreiber is a declining force on the ATP Tour, but the veteran still has the ability to put a really strong week together. That is exactly what he is doing in Indian Wells having beaten Acapulco Champion Nick Krygios and backing that up with an upset of the World Number 1 Novak Djokovic on his way through to the Fourth Round.
Once again Kohlschreiber is going to be an underdog as he faces Gael Monfils.
The enigmatic Frenchman seems to be knuckling down and looking to way winning tennis much more in 2019 than we have seen previously, although Monfils has regularly put together some solid weeks when it looks like he finally wants to win rather than entertain. He won the title in Rotterdam on the indoor hard courts and Monfils has continued to look focused on the court, while the match up with Kohlschreiber has proved to his liking in the past.
Gael Monfils leads the head to head with thirteen wins compared to two losses, while he has won all nine between them on the hard courts. His numbers have been significantly better than Kohlschreiber's and even though they have not played each other for over two years since the Australian Open, it is something that has to be factored in.
Coming off an emotional win is also tough for Kohlschreiber who had to play his Third Round match on Tuesday after poor weather prevented him and Djokovic playing more than one game on Monday. So while he has been out there toiling and earning his biggest win for some time, Gael Monfils would have been resting and I think that plays a part in this one too.
It has been a wonderful tournament for the German to this point and I do think Kohlschreiber will be dangerous, especially if he continues serving as well as he has. However Monfils has a strong break percentage against Kohlschreiber in their previous hard court matches and he is also in fine form in that aspect of his game in 2019 on the hard courts.
As long as Monfils can bring his usually decent serving to the court, I think he will have too much for Kohlschreiber and can beat him and cover the spread to reach the Quarter Final of yet another 2019 tournament.
Prediction: Gael Monfils - 3.5 Games