Date/Time: Wednesday 13th March 2019 (Kick-off 8:00 PM CET).
The conditions in Indian Wells are certainly not as quick as most of the other hard courts on the Tour, but these two players have monster shots which are going to give them the chance to run through some service games regardless.
2019 has perhaps not been as productive for John Isner as he would like in terms of the results he is putting together, but his numbers have remained strong. His serve is always going to be a shot that produces a very high number of holds, but Isner has been making use of the limited chances he gets to break serve and his break percentage numbers are higher than in previous seasons.
It is still not a number that leaps off the page at 13% on the hard courts, but that is enough when you are holding serve as convincingly as he has done for the most part in 2019. These numbers are certainly going to pose a test for Karen Khachanov who has been a little underwhelming in 2019 so far and who has gone 0-2 in matches on this surface against top 50 Ranked opponents.
The early numbers have taken a dip in both the serve and return aspects of Khachanov's game and it has left him vulnerable to a number of upsets already. However in this one is going to head into the match as the underdog and Khachanov should be confident he can be the one upsetting the odds when you think he has won all three previous matches against Isner.
Two of those were played on the hard courts last year when Khachanov allowed a total of just one break point to Isner across those matches. They did come in faster conditions than we will see in Indian Wells, but Khachanov also holds a clay court win over Isner from the French Open in 2017 and this is a match up he has enjoyed where so many others have not.
The young Russian has yet to be broken by Isner and he has found the two breaks of serve in the three matches which have proven to be decisive. John Isner has been in fine form in his two wins in Indian Wells to move through to the Fourth Round, but this has been a tough match up for him and it feels like another that is going to be decided by a point or two here and there.
Karen Khachanov's serving numbers against Isner could be vital even if the lottery of a tie-breaker is hard to judge and we could easily need a couple of those in this match. The fact he has never been broken by Isner will be on both player's minds at some point, especially if the match gets tight and I do think the underdog could be worth a play in this Fourth Round encounter.
I do think it will be another close match between these players, but Khachanov has made the big plays when the chances have come his way previously and the two wins should have him feeling good this week.
Prediciton: Karen Khachanov