'I certainly won't put a ceiling on what Rafael Nadal...', says former star

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'I certainly won't put a ceiling on what Rafael Nadal...', says former star

The ATP Tour heads to Indian Wells for the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the season at the BNP Paribas Open. Daniil Medvedev will lead the field as the new World No. 1, with 19 of the top 20 players in the ATP Rankings in action at the hard-court event.

Rafael Nadal will be looking to extend his perfect 15-0 start to the season, while Stefanos Tsitsipas will chase his first title of the year. ATPTour.com looks at 10 things to watch this week. 1) The BNP Paribas Open returns to March: For the first time since 2019, the BNP Paribas Open will take place on the regular March date.

The Masters 1000 event was canceled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, before it was moved to October last season, also due to the pandemic. The hard-court event, which takes place at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California, has been named the ATP Masters 1000 Tournament of the Year at the ATP Awards a record seven times, receiving the honor once again in 2021.

2) New World No. 1 Medvedev: After rising to the top of the ATP Rankings last month, Medvedev will compete as the world No. 1 for the first time in Indian Wells. The 26-year-old is aiming to win his fifth Masters 1000 trophy. However, Medvedev has never been beyond the fourth round in four previous appearances at the event.

He will look to change that in the next two weeks. 3) Rafael Nadal, perfect in 2022: Nadal has reminded everyone of what he is capable of in the first weeks of 2022, winning trophies at the Melbourne Summer Set, the Australian Open and the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presented by HSBC.

The 21-time Grand Slam champion is 15-0 on the season and has fond memories of Indian Wells, where he triumphed in 2007, 2009 and 2013.

Rafa Nadal likes to win

After missing most of the 2021 season due to a chronic foot injury, Rafael Nadal has made an unbeaten start to 2022.

"I certainly won't put a ceiling on what Rafa can achieve," Masur said. "I think if he's playing this well on the hard courts... I don't like to prognosticate in terms of matches that he can win consecutively because it almost seems impossible; 15 in a row, (potentially) 17, 18, 19, it just seems quite incredible at that level.

I'm loathe to say what he can do." During the interview, Masur said that Rafael Nadal's injury troubles last year and the low expectations he may have had coming into 2022 helped the 35-year-old. Masur added that being free of pressure played a key role in the Spaniard finding his best form.

"Sometimes when you have been a little bit injured, and you've done all the work but you're not sure (how you'll fare when you return), you do go in with less expectation," Masur said.