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Indian Wells Men’s Draw: Tsitsipas, Zverev in Bottom Half, Russians Medvedev and Rublev Up Top

The Men’s Single Draw live at Indian Wells. Photo 10sBalls.com

By Ricky Dimon

For the first time in 31 months, tennis is back in the California desert.

The 2020 BNP Paribas Open was canceled entirely because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2021 event was postponed from early March until early October. Thus the last time players and fans alike descended on “Tennis Paradise” in Indian Wells was March of 2019.

Now they have returned, and at long last main-draw action on the men’s side will begin on Thursday. The draw ceremony was held on Monday afternoon at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, revealing a stacked field of 96 even in the absence of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, and others.

With Djokovic out, world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev–who denied Djokovic the calendar-year Grand Slam by upsetting the Serb in the U.S. Open final–is the top seed. Medvedev is in a quarter of the bracket along with Wimbledon semifinalists Denis Shapovalov and Hubert Hurkacz. Continuing his fine form, Hurkacz is in position to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals after winning the Metz title last month. Medvedev could first run into Reilly Opelka in the last 16 and that would be a rematch of the Toronto Masters final (won by the Russian 6-4, 6-3).

Daniil Medvedev of Russia is the top seed. EPA-EFE/JOHN G. MABANGLO

The U.S. Open champion is on a collision course for the Indian Wells semi with compatriot Andrey Rublev. Speaking of rematches, the fourth round could pit Rublev against Cameron Norrie. They just squared off in last week’s San Diego semifinals, with Norrie pulling off a big upset before falling to Casper Ruud in the title match. Ruud also finds himself in Rublev’s Indian Wells section, as do Diego Schwartzman, Roberto Bautista Agut, and Lloyd Harris.

In the bottom half, projected quarterfinals are No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. No. 7 Felix Auger-Aliassime and No. 3 Alexander Zverev vs. No. 5 Matteo Berrettini.

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece is the no. 2 seed. EPA-EFE/WARREN TODA

Of course, there is a long way to go before those matchups can be confirmed. Auger-Aliassime could be challenged by Nikoloz Basilashvili in the last 32 and Karen Khachanov in the round of 16. Zverev is likely to open with Jenson Brooksby before running into Carlos Alcaraz or Andy Murray. That is a loaded section of the bracket in which Murray kicks off his campaign against Adrian Mannarino and would then collide with Alcaraz. The Zverev-Berrettini quarter is also home to Jannik Sinner, Gael Monfils, Lorenzo Sonego, and John Isner.

The main draw will get underway on Thursday. Qualifiers will be placed in the bracket on Tuesday following the completion of play.

Indian Wells Draws
Men’s Singles Draw: click here
Women’s Singles Draw: click here
Men’s Doubles Draw: click here
Men’s Singles Qualifying Draw: click here
Women’s Singles Qualifying Draw: click here

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