This draw looks particularly interesting and a lot of good matches near the fourth round and quarterfinals that would be electric if they ended up happening. The major withdrawal from the tournament was Milos Raonic who couldn’t play due to a hamstring injury that forced him out of the Delray Beach final.
Andy Murray (1) v Bye
Vasek Pospisil (q) v Yen-Hsun Lu
Dusan Lajovic (q) v Frances Tiafoe (wc)
Bye v Feliciano Lopez (30)
This is a nice draw for Murray as all the matches are easily achievable but he could be challenged by Pospisil and Lopez. Pospisil has seemed to get his year on track after some good matches in Davis Cup so he could push Murray. Lopez hasn’t had a great start to the season but things could start clicking for him this week. Tiafoe is also someone who could surprise as he has had a decent start to the year and he could easily shock fans in front of the home crowd. I still think that Murray is safe and will go through to the fourth round with a win over Lopez.
Pablo Carreno Busta (21) v Bye
Peter Gojowczyk (q) v Reilly Opelka (wc)
Juan Monaco v Adrian Mannarino
Bye v Roberta Bautista Agut (16)
This is a but of a weaker section but it does give Opelka a chance to go on a run and gain some big ranking points. Opelka has had some good wins this season but it hasn’t come together yet but this is a very big opportunity with a weaker couple of opening matches. Bautista Agut is a very reliable seed though and it will be hard to get past him but both Monaco and Mannarino could put in a good performance. I think that Bautista Agut’s consistency will get him through to the fourth round with a win over Opelka.
David Goffin (11) v Bye
Tommy Robredo (pr) v Karen Khachanov
Damir Dzuhhur v Ryan Harrison
Bye v Albert Ramos-Vinolas (22)
This section is loaded with different people who are in-form and could easily go on a tear to even the quarterfinals. Harrison has just come off his first ever title in Delray Beach and Goffin has been a figure of consistency this year excluding his loss in Acapulco. Robredo is still in the injury come-back trail and I don’t think he’ll have much luck this year, especially if he gets to face a consistent returner like Goffin in the second round. Ramos-Vinolas can’t be overlooked but I don’t think he’ll do much with the hard courts. I see Goffin reaching the fourth round with a win over Harrison.
Pablo Cuevas (27) v Bye
Martin Klizan v Thiago Monterio
Fabio Fognini v Konstantin Kravchuk
Bye v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (7)
This is a nice section that Tsonga can easily make his way through unless Fognini puts in a stunner of a performance. I think the Klizan v Monterio match could be a very long one and Cuevas could easily take advantage of fatigue despite him coming straight from winning the title in San Paolo. Tsonga has looked really good this year as he has already captured two titles in Marseille and Rotterdam and he’s currently on a 9-match winning streak. I think that Tsonga makes the fourth round with a win over Klizan.
Stan Wawrinka (3) v Bye
Robin Haase v Paolo Lorenzi
Alexandr Dolgopolov v Viktor Troicki
Bye v Phillip Kohlschreiber (28)
This is an interesting section of the draw because any one of these six players could make it to the fourth round and I would not be surprised at all. Wawrinka has a had a really good start to the season and hasn’t been throwing away any matches thus far, excluding the Dubai loss, but he does have injury concerns about the bad knee he acquired at the AO. Haase and Lorenzi have both had good runs at to the semifinals at tournaments this season and Dolgopolov won Rio a couple of weeks ago. Kohlschreiber came really close to knocking out Murray in Dubai but he just fell short but it will still give him a lot of confidence. I see Wawrinka going through to the fourth round with a win over Dolgopolov.
Ivo Karlovic (19) v Bye
Yoshihito Nishioka (q) v Elias Ymer (q)
Bjorn Fratangelo (wc) v Bernard Tomic
Bye v Tomas Berdych (13)
This section is very intruiging but I don’t think the quality of the matches will be to high. Karlovic has been playing quite so far this season and hasn’t lost ti many he shouldn’t have because his early round losses have been to people who have gone on to do well at that tournament. Ymer v Nishioka should be an interesting match showcasing the players of the next generation and both of them are in form so it could be interesting. Berdych’s level has really dropped over the past twelve months but this is a doable draw and I think he will get to the fourth round with a win over Karlovic.
Gael Monfils (10) v Bye
Nikoloz Basilashvili (q) v Darian King (q)
Jordan Thompson v Dmirty Tursunov
Bye v John Isner (20)
This is a section with a mixture of in-form and out-of-form players as Monfils and Isner have had bas starts to the season but Basilashvili and Thompson have started quite decently. Monfils hasn’t taken any bad losses this year but when he has gone down he’s fallen pretty quietly, especially against Nadal at the AO. Basilashvili has had great runs to the semifinal and final of Sofia and Delray Beach respectively so he’s coming in with a lot of confidence. Inner ended last season on a high with the Paris Masters final but since them he hasn’t been able to do much at all so he’ll be looking for a good tournament. I think Monfils makes it to the fourth round with a win over Thompson.
Mischa Zverev (29) v Bye
Joao Sousa v Diego Schwartzman
Radu Albot (q) v Jeremy Chardy
Bye v Dominic Thiem (8)
This section is another where a player could go out on a run. Them is obviously inconsistent and he could really lose to anyone on a ahead court, like a Chardy who hits big balls that will be beneficial on the fast court of Indian Wells. Zverev will also benefit from the hard courts with his class serve-and-volley techniques. Sousa and Shwartzmen are both clay courters that aren’t in form so I don’t think they’ll make it past the second round. I see Zverev reaching the fourth round with a win over Thiem.
Marin Cilic (6) v Bye
Benoit Paire v Taylor Fritz (wc)
Nicolas Mahut v Malek Jaziri
Bye v Marcel Granollers (32)
This is a tough section for Cilic who is still trying to get some form and rhythm in 2017. Cilic played well in Acapulco but was easily swatted aside by Nadal in the semifinals so that could blow his confidence as he only managed to win back-to-back matches after the AO. Cilic hasn’t been serving as well and that will play into the hands of either Fritz or Paire, both of which haven’t had the best starts to 2017 but will be happy by getting probably the weakest top 8 seed. I see Cilic getting some good wins here and going in to the fourth round with a win over Mahut.
Jack Sock (17) v Bye
Henri Laaksonen (q) v Borna Coric
Daniil Medvedev v Mikhail Youzhny
Bye v Grigor Dimitrov (22)
This draw is another that could set up a blockbuster third round between the seeds. Both Sock and Dimitrov have been playing really well this tournament and I don’t expect them to stop here. If they did meet I believe it would be an epic. Medvedev and Youzhny could provide challenges, as could Coric, but I don’t think they’re at a level to knock out anyone near the ranking of Dimitrov or Sock. I think that Dimitrov has just been playing better and he will reach the fourth round with a win over Sock.
Lucas Pouille (14) v Bye
Santiago Giraldo (q) v Jan-Lennard Struff
Donald Young v Stefan Kozlov (wc)
Bye v Sam Querrey (23)
I don’t think that Querrey’s momentum from Acapulco that saw him beat four top 20 players and win the title will continue at Indian Wells. I think he’ll still be playing at a high level but he will be beatable. Young always does play well in the States but he can easily crack under the pressure of a higher ranked opponent and he is prone to getting nervous so that will probably hinder him against Johnson. Pouille hasn’t had the start he was looking for this year but this is a manageable draw for him and I think he’ll reach the fourth round with a win over Young.
Gilles Muller (25) v Bye
Renzo Olivo v Jiri Vesely
Dustin Brown v Daniel Evans
Bye v Kei Nishikori (4)
I think this is a tricky section for Nishikori to find himself in but he has so often gotten out of undesirable draws. Brown and Evans are both very capable players of causing an upset and they could break down Nishikori’s rhythm and even if he gets past his opening match the struggles don’t stop. Vesely is someone who is unbeatable on his day but Muller is the type of player Nishikori struggles with, VERY powerful serve and accuracy all round. I still think that Nishikori has the persistence and mental strength to get through this and I think he’ll get to the fourth round with a win over Vesely.
Rafael Nadal (5) v Bye
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez v Guido Pella
Pierre-Hugues Herbert v Thomaz Bellucci
Bye v Fernando Ferdasco (26)
This is a nice section for Nadal as he has been playing really well and has got a clay courter in the first round. I don’t see Pella or Garcia-Lopez troubling Nadal at all and on the other side of the section there is a Nadal v Verdasco collision ahead. Unless Bellucci has a great day I don’t think anyones beating Verdasco with his from and it’s very likely the battle of the in-form Spaniards will happen. I see Nadal getting through to the fourth round here with a good win over Verdasco.
Steve Johnson (24) v Bye
Kevin Anderson v Federico Gaio (q)
Stephane Robert v Dudi Sela
Bye v Roger Federer (9)
This draw is full of big servers but I don’t think Federer will struggle with any of them unless Johnson is goes on a hot streak which he can be prone to do from time to time. Anderson and Johnson would be a good match as two good servers come up against each other but all eyes will be on Federer no matter the opponent. Federer took a tough loss in Dubai after having match points and he could still be carrying around cuts from that loss but I think he’ll be over it as the professional he is.
Nick Kygrios (15) v Bye
Marius Copil (q) v Horacio Zeballos
Julien Bennetau (q) v Facundo Bagnis
Bye v Alexander Zverev (18)
This section could serve up a blockbuster third round of the youngsters and with Kygrios being in the form he’s in it would be anyone’s game. Copil and Bennetau are two big servers that the youngsters could have some trouble with before they get to each other though. I watched a Copil match in Rotterdam and he really impressed me so if he’s on he could probably take out Kygrios. I still think that the young-gun battle will happen and Zverev will go through the win over Kygrios.
Juan Martin Del Potro (31) v Bye
Federico Delbonis v Andrey Kuznetsov
Kyle Edmund v Gastao Elias
Bye v Novak Djokovic (2)
This is a nightmare draw for Djokovic again as he might have to face Del Potro and Kyrgios back-to-back again for the second tournament in a row. He has to be low on confidence at the moment so I Del Potro would see and take advantage of that. Kuznetsov has been playing very well lately se he might be the one to do Djokovic a favour and knock Del Potro out. Saying that, Djokovic does have the danger of Edmund who could play the match of his life but I think both seeds will win their openers. I think that Del Potro will make the fourth round with a win over Djokovic.
Fourth Round Matches:
Andy Murray defeats Roberto Bautista Agut
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeats David Goffin
Tomas Berdych defeats Stan Wawrinka
Mischa Zverev defeats Gael Monfils
Grigor Dimitrov defeats Marin Cilic
Kei Nishikori defeats Lucas Pouille
Rafael Nadal defeats Roger Federer
Juan Martin Del Potro defeats Alexander Zverev
Andy Murray defeats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Tomas Berdych defeats Mischa Zverev
Grigor Dimitrov defeats Kei Nishikori
Juan Martin Del Potro defeats Rafael Nadal
Andy Murray defeats Tomas Berdych
Grigor Dimitrov defeats Juan Martin Del Potro
Grigor Dimitrov defeats Andy Murray