Juan Martin Del Potro’s lower-than-deserved ranking has left him at the mercy of draws in the early stages of 2017. The Argentine was dealt another tough one at the Miami Open, where he could face Australian Open and Indian Wells champion Roger Federer in the third round.
Del Potro lost to Novak Djokovic in the Acapulco second round and the Indian Wells third round. Now this season’s best player stands in Del Potro’s way at the Indian Wells Masters. Federer is 13-1 this year and coming off a dominant performance in the California desert, where he did not drop a single set en route to the title. Interestingly, the Swiss was supposed to meet Del Potro in his opening Miami match last spring before withdrawing due to an illness.
It is hard to see anything derailing this potential Federer vs. Del Potro showdown. Federer awaits either Konstantin Kravchuk or a qualifier in round two, while Del Potro’s opener will come against Robin Haase or Mikael Ymer. The second quarter of the bracket is also home to Indian Wells quarterfinalist Dominic Thiem and Acapulco champion Sam Querrey.
With Djokovic and Andy Murray on the sidelines due to respective elbow injuries, Indian Wells runner-up Stan Wawrinka is the No. 1 seed. Wawrinka, who fell to Federer 6-4, 7-5 in this past Sunday’s title match, will kick off his Miami campaign against either Horacio Zeballos or Gastao Elias. The Swiss’ section also features David Goffin, Nick Kyrgios, Alexander Zverev, and John Isner.
On the other side of the draw, potential quarterfinal contests are Kei Nishikori vs. Marin Cilic and Milos Raonic vs. Rafael Nadal. A rematch of an Australian Open semifinal thriller–won by Nadal–could pit the Spaniard against Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round. Possible roadblocks for Nishikori include Fernando Verdasco in the third round and Indian Wells semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta in the last 16.
Intriguing first-rounders on the Wednesday and Thursday schedules are Donald Young vs. Dustin Brown, Fabio Fognini vs. Ryan Harrison, and Benoit Paire vs. Martin Klizan.
Check out the full draw on the ATP website