Former 18-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert thinks Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev are the top two favorites for the Indian Wells Masters title. Nadal arrived to the desert owning a 15-0 record in 2022. On the other side, Medvedev hasn't yet won a title this season but he ended runner-up at the Australian Open and also made the Acapulco semifinal.
Nadal was the player that stopped Medvedev from winning the Australian Open and Acapulco. "Medvedev and Nadal are right now the two favorites of Indian Wells," Evert told Eurosport. "I think they're pretty close.
Personally, since it's two out of three sets, I think that's pretty much erased (the Australian Open final). I would think that a champion mentality can erase that. It's been enough time. It's not like [it is] the next week they're playing each other."
Nadal aims a fourth Indian Wells title, Medvedev his first
Nadal hasn't made it all the way in Indian Wells since 2013. On the other side, Medvedev has never made it past the round-of-16 in the desert. Nadal played in just one event in the second part of the 2021 season and Evert thinks being away from the court for an extended period of time made the Spaniard hungry in his return.
"I think more importantly, Nadal, since he took that break, has been hungrier," Evert continued. "And when you take time off, you really are a little more alert, a little more focused, a little fresher. And I think Nadal came back pretty strong after his foot injury.
If they were to face off, I think it would be more about Nadal's current form and the fact that the court is a little bit slower that would affect Medvedev. I don't think the thought of the Australian Open would affect him as much."