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BNP Paribas Open • Indian Wells ATP Men’s Draw • Nadal, Federer In Same Half

By Ricky Dimon


The BNP Paribas Open draw ceremony for men’s singles was held on Tuesday afternoon at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. One of the results was a potential semifinal showdown between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, is in a top half that also includes Alexander Zverev, Kevin Anderson, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Borna Coric.


Djokovic skipped the February swing, meaning he has not taken the match court since triumphing at the Australian Open. The top-ranked Serb hit a low point during the Indian Wells-Miami double last season, but he totally reversed course throughout the second half of 2018 and now heads to the California desert as the obvious title favorite. He will open against a qualifier in round two before possibly running into Acapulco champion Nick Kyrgios. A red-hot Gael Monfils is a potential foe in the last 16, while Thiem or Coric are potential quarterfinal adversaries.


Zverev, who finished runner-up to Kyrgios in Acapulco, may have to meet none other than his brother (Mischa, with whom the younger Zverev captured the Acapulco doubles title) in the second round. Mischa first has to get past Martin Klizan. Anderson is the other top-eight seed in the second section of the bracket, but he has been injured since Melbourne. That means the door could be open for an on-fire and confident Tsitsipas. The 20-year-old Greek was the runner-up to Federer last week in Dubai.


Federer’s Indian Wells draw looks like a mixed bag. The 37-year-old Swiss should coast through his opener but will likely collide with countryman Stan Wawrinka in the third round. Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic are possible semifinal opponents, but neither one looks overly daunting at the moment.


Nadal enters this fortnight as a question mark–as he often is on anything other than clay. The Spaniard has been solid in his latest comeback from injury, but he got blown out by Djokovic in the Aussie final. He then got a bad draw in Acapulco and lost to Kyrgios in a third-set tiebreaker after squandering three match points. Nadal’s path through IW could feature a scorching-hot Daniil Medvedev in round four and big-serving John Isner in the quarters.


Men’s main-draw action begins on Thursday.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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