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Roger Federer vs. Steve Johnson 2017 Indian Wells Masters Pick, Odds, Prediction

Johnson vs. Federer
Date & Time Tuesday March 14, 2017, 9:00 PM (EDT)
The Line
The Line: Johnson +540 / Federer -740 -- Over/Under:
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Roger Federer and Steve Johnson meet Tuesday in the round of 32 in the 2017 Indian Wells Masters.

Roger Federer is coming off a straight sets win over Stephane Robert that took 15 games to decide. In the victory, Federer won 79 percent of his first serve points and 63 percent of his second serve points. Federer is still trying to find a nice balance after winning the Australian Open and suffering a quick exit in Dubai. Federer looked terrific in his last match, but this is obviously a much steeper test with his opponent being ranked inside the top-30. As long as Federer is solid with his second serve, he’ll give himself a great chance of avoiding another upset since winning his grand slam. Federer has won nine of his last 10 matches on hard court.  

Steve Johnson is coming off a three set win over Kevin Anderson that took 32 games to decide. In the victory, Johnson won 82 percent of his first serve points and 63 percent of his second serve points. Johnson is just trying to find some consistency after a slow start to the 2017 season and a slight drop in the rankings. There was a point last year when Johnson looked like he was emerging from the pack of talented Americans but staying at that level of play has been a struggle. The key for Johnson is the return, as he’s tough to beat when winning at least 30 percent of return points. Johnson has two career wins over top-10 players, both coming last year. Johnson has won six of his last eight matches on hard court.

These two have played once in the past, which was in the 2016 Wimbledon, a match Federer won in straight sets. The match took 29 games to decide. This will obviously be their first match on hard court.

Johnson is a live underdog when he’s serving well and playing with confidence. The problem is the lack of consistency and the unpredictability. Federer is in better form despite his hiccup in his last event and should be able to frustrate Johnson on the hard court the same way he did on grass.

Federer gets the victory here but the match is closer than the odds indicate.

Roger Federer

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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