American players with intriguing Indian Wells matches on Saturday

The Round of 64 poses some noteworthy challenges for American women and men

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The BNP Paribas Open, also known as Indian Wells, is underway. With many of the top seeds receiving first round byes and inexplicable rain delays in the desert earlier in the week, we can now expect to see all of the American players in action this weekend.

Saturday's action features Jessica Pegula, Sloane Stephens, Peyton Stearns, Tommy Paul, and Alex Michelsen in intriguing matches.

Jessica Pegula will face teenager Anna Blinkova. Blinkova knocked Elena Rybakina out of the Australian Open with that marathon third-set tiebreaker which she won on her tenth match point. Sloane Stephens will play Sorana Cirstea. The Romanian veteran is playing high-level consistent tennis so Stephens needs to be at her best to win the match. Finally, Peyton Stearns has the ultimate challenge of taking on the 2023-2024 Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka. These matches are expected to happen between 4:00 PM and 9:00 PM EST.

A Saturday All-American clash is slated for the men

Tommy Paul will take on teenager Alex Michelsen at approximately 9:00 PM EST. This is a rematch of their first career meeting in the Delray Beach Round of 16 match less than a month ago. Paul won the match in three sets 5-7, 6-4, 7-6.

In current PIF ATP rankings, Paul is 17th and Michelsen is 80th. Michelsen, 19, turned pro in 2023 and is a rising American star. Currently, he is the ninth highest ranked American behind Taylor Fritz (12),
Ben Shelton (16), Paul (17), Frances Tiafoe (18), Sebastian Korda (29), Christopher Eubanks (34), Marcos Giron (48), and Mackenzie McDonald (68).

Michelsen's 2024 record is 6-6, but one of those wins was against Alex de Minaur in straight sets at Los Cabos. A defeat over Paul would be the second-biggest win of the year and boost his climb in the rankings.

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