As the sport's top-ranked stars hit the courts today in these early stages of the BNP Paribas Open, the tournament's lesser-known players have the opportunity to defy the odds and advance to Round 3 when almost everyone expects them to lose. Today, we'll get to know these underdogs as they face the uphill battle of standing across the net from the greats.
Up first, Denis Istomin...
Born: Orenburg, Russia
Height: 6 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 180 lbs.
Highest Ranking: No. 33 (August 2012)
Current Ranking: No. 45
(2) Roger Federer
How He Got Here
Defeated qualifier Vasek Pospisil 7-6 6-3 in the opening round
Last Meeting w/ Federer
2012 London Olympics, lost 7-5, 6-3
Istomin and Federer have met three times over their tennis careers and Istomin has yet to win a set. Today, he'll look to upset second-ranked Federer in their fourth meeting in the second round of the 2013 BNP Paribas Open.
We just saw No. 4 David Ferrer go down to South Africa's Kevin Anderson, so the upset Gods are out and active in Indian Wells.
Can Istomin make it two?
It's unlikely, but we'll know soon once John Isner and Lleyton Hewitt wrap things up here on Court 1.