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BNP Paribas Open draw revealed: Red hot Medvedev, defending champ Fritz on opposite sides

The BNP Paribas draw ceremony was held on Monday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal may be absent, but there is still a star-studded lineup in the desert. With Djokovic sidelined from the Indian Wells Masters for a third consecutive year, Carlos Alcaraz is the No. 1 seed. Alcaraz, who should be ready to go despite a lingering leg issue, is followed by No. 2 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 3 Casper Ruud, No. 4 Taylor Fritz, No. 5 Daniil Medvedev, and No. 6 Andrey Rublev.

Given Alcaraz’s somewhat questionable status but mainly due to his own scorching-hot form, Medvedev has to be considered the favorite. The 27-year-old is coming off back-to-back-to-back titles in Rotterdam, Doha, and Dubai, putting an emphatic halt to his 2022 slump. Medvedev will kick off his campaign against either John Isner or Brandon Nakashima and his nearest seed is Botic van de Zandschulp. The 2021 U.S. Open champion could meet Alexander Zverev in round four and Ruud in the quarterfinals.

At the top of the bracket, Alcaraz has a favorable path to at least the fourth round. The second-ranked Spaniard could eventually run into either Felix Auger-Aliassime, Hubert Hurkacz, or Tommy Paul in the quarters and potentially Fritz–the defending champion–in the semis.

If the seeds hold to form (which isn’t likely by any means), quarterfinal matchups would be Alcaraz vs. Auger-Aliassime, Fritz vs. Holger Rune, Medvedev vs. Ruud, and Tsitsipas vs. Andrey Rublev.

First-round showdowns to watch are Isner vs. Shelton, Murray vs. Santiago runner-up Tomas Martin Etcheverry, Ben Shelton vs. Fabio Fognini, J.J. Wolf vs. Marton Fucsovics, Adrian Mannarino vs. Dominic Thiem, and Gael Monfils vs. Jordan Thompson. Monfils used a protected ranking to get into the field, while Thiem–the 2019 champion–received a wild card.

Qualifiers will be placed in the draw on Tuesday night before main-draw competition begins on Wednesday.

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