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BNP Paribas Open draw: Nadal vs. Rune potentially in round two, Djokovic and Sinner on opposite sides

One of the most fun months of tennis is upon us. March annually features the Sunshine Double, which consists of back-to-back Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami.

The former begins on Wednesday, but the buzz has already begun because the BNP Paribas Open draw was revealed on Monday afternoon.

Because he is unseeded and could have landed basically anywhere in the bracket, all eyes were on Rafael Nadal during the draw ceremony. The Spaniard will face Milos Raonic in round one and if he advances his second match will come against Holger Rune. Here is Nadal’s full projected path:

R1: Milos Raonic
R2: (7) Holger Rune
R3: (26) Lorenzo Musetti
R4: (12) Taylor Fritz
QF: (4) Daniil Medvedev
SF: (1) Novak Djokovic
F: (2) Carlos Alcaraz

Nadal’s placement in the bracket was always going to be the headline story, but there are other noteworthy items. How could there not be when every one of the top 35 players in the world is in the field?

At the top, Novak Djokovic could meet several in-form opponents midway through the event. The No. 1 seed is on a collision course for the round of 16 with with Marseille and Dubai winner Ugo Humbert, while Hubert Hurkacz is a potential QF foe.

The bottom half–and specifically the bottom quarter–is even more difficult. Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz would go head-to-head in the SFs if they both advance, but Alcaraz is in a section with both Alexander Zverev and Alex de Minaur. The latter is coming off an ATP 500 title in Acapulco this past Saturday.

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