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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday March 8, 2022

Daniil Medvedev

Novak Djokovic has entered the Indian Wells draw, but it isn't clear if he will play.

Photo Source: Getty

The men’s singles draw at the BNP Paribas Open is set and Novak Djokovic is still in the mix. The five-time champion is apparently still hoping to gain entry to the country, and therefore the tournament. Main draw play begins on Thursday at Indian Wells, but Djokovic would likely have his first match (after a bye) either on Saturday or Sunday.

Tennis Express

So will he or won't he play? We'll find out soon enough. As for now, here's what we know:

Here is the full draw:

Here’s a look at five key takeaways from the draw:

Nadal seeking 16 and more

Rafael Nadal was seen on the practice courts, facing off with American Sebastian Korda on Tuesday. It may have been a preview for the Spaniard’s first match. He will face either Korda or a qualifier as he seeks to continue his undefeated season in California.

Nadal is already off to his best start to a season (15-0 and counting), with titles in Melbourne, the Australian Open and Acapulco.

The No.4 seed, a three-time champion in California, could face Denis Shapovalov in the round of 16, Casper Ruud or Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals, and top-seed Daniil Medvedev in the semis, if the seeds hold.

Projected QFs, if Seeds Hold

Perhaps, if Djokovic is not ultimately allowed to play in California, it will be Andrey Rublev who ends up with a manageable path deep into the draw. Rublev is slated to face Frances Tiafoe in the third round and could potentially face Hubert Hurkacz in the round of 16.

Here are the projected quarterfinals.

Medvedev’s Path

World No.1 Daniil Medvedev has never been past the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open, and he owns a 5-4 lifetime record at the event. Is this the year where he conquers the difficult conditions and makes a deep run?

He’ll open against a qualifier or Alexei Popyrin, and could face two-time quarterfinalist Gael Monfils in the third round. After that either Carlos Alcaraz or Roberto Bautista Agut lurks in the round of 16. With Stefanos Tsitsipas as his potential quarterfinal opponent, and Nadal as his potential semifinal, he’ll have his hands full.

Americans on the rise?

If things are indeed as great as many believe them to be for American tennis, a Masters 1000 on home soil is the perfect time to prove it. Last season it was Taylor Fritz who proved himself admirably, the Californian reaching his first Masters 1000 semifinal on the big stage.

Who is up for a run this year? Can Korda push Nadal? Will 21-year-old Jenson Brooksby, ranked at a career-high 43, make a dent? He faces Roberto Carballes Baena first and could square off with Karen Khachanov in the second round.

Reilly Opelka [17], Fritz [20], John Isner [23] and Tiafoe [28] are the seeded Americans. Keep an eye out for a potential second-round clash between Brandon Nakashima and Frances Tiafoe, and a potential rematch between Fritz and Zverev, slated for the round of 16.

First and Second Round Popcorn

Main draw action kicks off on Thursday in the desert. Here are some of the matchups we’ll be scanning in the first four days.

Andy Murray v Qualifier, Round 1 - Andy Murray v Alexander Bublik (potential second round): The Scot bids for his 700th career win in the first round. If he achieves it he’ll be set up for a marquee matchup with Bublik, who is close to his career-high ranking and fresh off his first ATP title this year at Montpellier.

Adrian Mannarino v Brandon Nakashima, round one: The rising American will have to be clever to stop the cagey Frenchman - Mannarino won their first clash in three sets at the Delray Beach Open round of 16.

Lorenzo Musetti v Marcos Giron, round one: The energetic, overachieving American is the quintessential ATP worker bee. He never gives an inch and never stops fighting. But will his consistency and drive be enough to image the artistic stylings of the flamboyant Italian?

Daniil Medvedev v Alexei Popyrin, round two (potential): No guarantee that Popyrin gets through his first round against a qualifier, but if he does we’ll look forward to seeing what he can do against Medvedev. The World No.1 was “cramping like hell” in the third set when he last faced Popyrin, but he came through 7-5 in the third to improve to 3-0 against the talented Aussie.


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