Indian Wells: Djokovic in Nadal's side, but he avoids Sinner and Alcaraz

Tennis World shares with you a detailed analysis of the men's draw

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Indian Wells: Djokovic in Nadal's side, but he avoids Sinner and Alcaraz
© Adam Pretty / Staff Getty Images Sport

The outcome of the draw for the BNP Paribas Open, the first ATP Master 1000 of the season to be played on the Californian hard-courts of Indian Wells, gave the following pairings as potential quarter-finals: Djokovic-Hurkacz; Medvedev-Rune; Sinner-Rublev and Zverev-Alcaraz.

To lead the top-half of the draw there is the seed No.1 Novak Djokovic and the seed No.4 seed Daniil Medvedev. The Australian Open winner Jannik Sinner is in Carlos Alcaraz's side. The Italian and the Spanish players were drawn in the bottom-half of the draw.

One of the most interesting elements of the draw was the placement of Rafael Nadal who, not being seeded, could be paired with anyone. For him (in the top-half with Djokovic) a first round against the Canadian Milos Raonic and possible second round against Holger Rune.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

Let's analyze the board in detail

Novak Djokovic after the bye in the first round awaits either Vukic or a qualifier. Possible third round for him against Etcheverry. In the fourth round there could be one between Paul and Humbert. In Djokovic's quarter there is the Polish Hubert Hurkacz who after the bye in the first round will find Gael Monfils or Purcell.

In this side of the draw there is Lorenzo Sonego opposite the Serbian Kecmanovic in his first round. If successful, he will face Cameron Norrie. Daniil Medvedev awaits the winner of the match between Flavio Cobolli and the Spaniard Carballes Baena in the second round.

Also in this side there are Adrian Mannarino, Grigor Dimitrov and Raylor Fritz. Interesting first round between Stan Wawrinka vs Machac. Fabio Fognini, in the draw with a wild card from the organizers, will face Zapata Miralles and, in case of success for him, there will be the Argentine Baez, fresh from the successes in Rio de Janeiro and Santiago de Chile.

Lorenzo Musetti, seeded number 26, has a bye in the first round and will face the winner of the match between the Canadian Denis Shapovalov and the Dutch Botic Van de Zandschulp in the second round. Here then there is the challenge between Nadal and Raonic, whoever wins will have Holger Rune as a prize in the second round.

Alcaraz and Sinner in the bottom half of the draw

The bottom half of the draw is opened by Andrey Rublev who could face Andy Murray in the second round. The Scottish player will make his debut with a qualifier. Also in this area are Tiafoe and Tsitsipas.

For Jannik Sinner, seeded number 3, bye in the first round and then second round against the winner of the match between Thanasi Kokkinakis and Giron. The top seed in the Italian zone is Ben Shelton, who could play in the second round against Mensik.

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner© Matthew Stockman / Staff Getty Images Sport

The last quarter of the scoreboard is opened by Alexander Zverev, who awaits O'Connell or Draper. In his path is Alex de Minaur who will debut with Daniel or Galan. In the last segment of the scoreboard a possible third round between Felix Auger Aliassime and Carlos Alcaraz.

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport

Here there is also Matteo Arnaldi who drew the Frenchman Van Assche in the first round, in case of success for him in the second round there would be a challenge against the Spanish player.

Novak Djokovic is the main favorite to win the final, but Jannik Sinner is perhaps the real opponent who can challenge him for victory. The Italian champion is in a physical condition bordering on perfection. Nole had some physical problems at the beginning of the season, and the pressure on the young Italian seems to be strong.

The Netflix Slam showed a good physical form of Alcaraz, the defending champion who seems to have overcome the ankle injury suffered in Rio de Janeiro. Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev are more than supporting players: they too have a chance of victory, if they arrive at Indian Wells with a full tank of psycho-physical energy.

And Rafael Nadal? The Spaniard is in good physical shape, as seen during The Netflix Slam, but predicting a victory for him is still too difficult and premature. Indian Wells will serve the legendary Spaniard as a fuel for his beloved clay season, where he will try to get the most out of his 2024 season.

Indian Wells Alcaraz