Friday, 10 March 2017

Murray has gift draw at Indian Wells

For the first time since Melbourne Park in January, all the best players from the ATP and WTA tours have gathered together to hit tennis balls at each other in return for bundles of cash.  

Indian Wells will be without Serena Williams, however.  The world number one has withdrawn from this and also the next tournament in Miami.
Pulling out was late enough to require some fancy repair work to the draw, and beneficiaries are headed by Karolina Pliskova.

The number three seed has been moved into the position previously occupied by Serena, effectively giving her the top seed's run at the title.
Russian Daria Kasatkina is now seeded for the event, joining the other 31 seeds with first round byes.  Before the Williams news, she would have had to win her way to a second round match.
Funnily enough Daria will play another Pliskova, Karolina's twin sister Kristyna.

Not too many results have rocked California so far, but Lesia Tsurenko would have expected her Acapulco success to have carried on further than a first round loss to qualifier Shuai Peng.  
Ekaterina Makarova, Eugenie Bouchard and Alison Riske all lost matches to opponents with less credentials, but the major action won't begin until the top 32 join the fray in round two.

The men's draw is stacked in Andy Murray's favour.  Sitting at the top of the draw,  the world number one has Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Dominic Thiem and out of form Stan Wawrinka as fellow top ten players in his half. 

The bottom half has second seed Novak Djokovic, and he has the following top ten players with him - Kei Nishikori, Rafa Nadal, Marin Cilic, and Roger Federer.  Also there are Acapulco winner Sam Querrey, Aus Open semi finalist Grigor Dimitrov, Delray Beach winner Jack Sock, Montpellier winner Alexander Zverev, Dubai finalist Fernando Verdasco, and Marseille finalist Lucas Pouille.
Throw in Kyrgios and del Potro and it is easy to see that this is the most uneven draw in recent history.

The prospects of a third round match between Djokovic and del Potro and maybe a fourth round Djokovic v Kyrgios are terrific, but then there is the chance of Federer meeting Nadal in the round of sixteen.
Djokovic v Nadal or Federer could be a quarter final.

There is every chance that the matches of the tournament at Indian Wells 2017 for the men may be all played before the semi finals.

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