ATP Indian Wells draw: Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev kept apart, Andy Murray gets kind draw for once
The returning Carlos Alcaraz and in-form Daniil Medvedev will only be able to meet in the final of the Indian Wells Open while Andy Murray will for once not face a top player in his opening match.
Alcaraz, who missed last week’s Mexican Open due to a hamstring injury, is the top seed at the ATP Masters 1000 event following world No 1 Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal due to his visa issues.
With the top 32 seeds enjoying byes into the second round, Alcaraz – a semi-finalist last year – will open his account against either wildcard Brandon Holt or a qualifier while he could face Tallon Griekspoor in the third round with Pablo Carreno Busta his projected fourth opponent.
Section 1 is packed with British players and 24th seed Dan Evans could face compatriot Jack Draper in the second round. Draper, though, will have to get past at qualifier in the first round.
Murray, who finished runner-up at the Qatar Open before skipping the Dubai Tennis Championships in order to give his body more time to recover, is also in the section and he opens his tournament against Argentine Tomas Etcheverry. If he gets through that match then he will face 15th seed Carreno Busta. The winner of that clash will face Evans, Draper or a qualifier.
Eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime is the projected to reach the quarter-final from Section 2 and the Canadian will face either Pedro Martinez or Marc-Andrea Husler first up while ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz and 17th seed Tommy Paul are also in the bracket.
Defending champion Taylor Fritz headlines Section 3 and he takes on either fellow American Ben Shelton or veteran Fabio Fognini in the second round and if things go according to seeding then he will meet 16th seed Alex de Minaur, fresh from winning the Acapulco title on Sunday, in the fourth round.
The winner of that clash is projected to meet fourth seed Holger Rune in the quarter-final, but the Danish teenager has three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka and 11th seed Jannik Sinner in his bracket.
Stefanos Tsitsipas headlines the bottom half and the second seed faces either the fit-again Gael Monfils or Jordan Thompson in the second round while he could meet 14th seed Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round and sixth seed Andrey Rublev in the quarter-final.
Rublev, though, has a tough opener against either rising star Jiri Lehecka or Arthur Rinderknech while he could face 25th seed Denis Shapovalov in the third round and 10th seed Cameron Norrie in the fourth round. British No 1 Norrie takes on either the mercurial Alexander Bublik or a qualifier in the second round.
Fifth seed Medvedev, who has won three tournaments in a row, is also in the bottom half, but he can only meet Tsitsipas or Rublev in the semi-final. Medvedev faces either John Isner or Brandon Nakashima in his opener while he is projected to meet 12th seed Alexander Zverev in the fourth round.
The winner of that bracket is likely to meet third seed Casper Ruud in the quarter-final with the Norwegian’s biggest rival for a last-eight spot likely to come from 13th seed Karen Khachanov.
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