Absentees Mean Federer, Djokovic Expected to Peak Interest
The first Masters 1000 event of 2018 is set with Roger Federer leading the field in Indian Wells for the BNP Paribas Open. The tournament also marks the return of Novak Djokovic, who has been sidelined by continued elbow problems since his fourth round Australian Open exit courtesy of Hyeon Chung . Djokovic is seeded 10th in the 96 player field, the “Mini Major” in Indian Wells features one of the largest fields of players outside of the four Grand Slams. It takes on a Slam type of vibe with the event stretching for more than a week with main draw play beginning on Thursday. Federer is back as the defending champion and top seed. He will be seeking his sixth title at Indian Wells, tied with Djokovic for the most career titles at this event. That’s good for event organizers with some recognizable names out this week in the form of Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, David Goffin, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet. All are sidelined with injury issues.
There are 32 seeded players in the draw overall. All the seeds get a first round bye. Rounding out the top ten behind Federer are Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Juan Martin Del Potro, Kevin Anderson, Jack Sock, Lucas Pouille and Novak Djokovic. Djokovic is the obvious intrigue of the week. The Serb looked like he was rounding back into form in Melbourne, before the Chung defeat and subsequent announcement that the pain in his right elbow had returned. He’s had a medical procedure done since then, so this tournament will be a huge test of how healthy that elbow is now.
Top Ten Seeds With Iffy Histories in Indian Wells
Djokovic is obviously a player whose return to health can be a real game changer to the landscape of the ATP World Tour. He’s 49-7 all-time at Indian Wells with the five titles. His exit in the fourth round last year was the first time since 2010 that he had not made at least the semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open. Among the rest of the top ten, it’s been hit and miss for most of them in the desert. Cilic’s best run was a 2016 quarterfinal finish, but he lost his opener last year to Taylor Fritz. Third seed Grigor Dimitrov has never been past round three and Zverev is making just his third trip, with a fourth round finish in 2016 as his best so far.
Red hot Juan Martin Del Potro is the most experienced top ten seed outside of the Federer and Djokovic with an 18-7 record at Indian Wells. A lot of that has come well in the past though with the 2013 finals run as his best. He’s struggled some since then at Indian Wells, but that was due mainly to poor draws that pit him against seeds early as he built his way back up in the rankings the last few years. This time, he is the hunted. The interesting high seeds to watch are Sock and Pouille for me. Sock had the semifinal run here last year, but has been pretty poor to start the season. Pouille has had a hot start, but as I mentioned in the Ocho, he doesn’t have a top 20 win this year. He has a lot to prove in big tournaments like this one.
Other Seeds to Watch
The seeded field outside of the top ten offers a bit of everything from grizzled veterans like Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer to up and comers like Kyle Edmund and Hyeon Chung, and more first timers like Andrey Rublev. Pablo Carreno Busta is the first seed outside the top ten at #11. The 26-year olf Spaniard has had his issues escaping his openers at tournaments since last Fall, but comes in as a surprise semifinalist from last year.He had only been out of the first round once in his previous three trips. Berdych is 21-13 at this event, but has only been as far as the quarterfinals once since 2014. Roberto Bautisa Agut slots in at 13 and comes in with form after winning in Dubai. His track record here though suggests he may have a tough time making a deep run with three straight third round finishes.
Diego Schwartzman is the 14th seed, but also is short on success with a 1-3 record at Indian Wells. John Isner and Sam Querrey are the only Americans outside of Sock to be seeded, they come in at #15 and #18. Isner in particular would normally be one to watch with a 21-10 mark at this tournament. He’s been to the fourth round or better in three of the last four years, including a semifinal run in 2014. He is ice cold in 2018 though at just 2-5. Fabio Fognini at 16 has shown better recently at Indian Wells with a third round run last year and fourth round run three years ago. He comes off a title in Sao Paulo, but is just 7-8 overall here in his career. As always, he seems boom or bust from round two onward.
Among the back half of the seeds, the ones that catch the eye are Nick Kyrgios at 17, Kyle Edmund at 21, Kei Nishikori at 22 and Hyeon Chung at 23. Kyrgios made the quarters last year after two lackluster trips prior to 2017. Health is the key issue for NK as he plays for the first time since picking up an elbow injury in Davis Cup play in early February. He’s a big time threat to do damage if he’s near 100 percent and finds form. Edmund too is battling back from injury, missing time due to a hip injury. He hasn’t played since Melbourne and is will be playing just his fourth match at the BNP Paribas Open. If the Brit is fit, it will be interesting to see if he can follow up on that Australian Open run and re-establish himself as one to watch.
Nishikori was a disappointing early exit to Denis Shapovalov in Acapulco last week. This is the time of year that the man from Japan had proclaimed would see his physical form round into its best shape in returning from last year’s wrist surgery. He’s a back-to-back quarter finalist in 2016 and 2017 and needs to get a big run here or in Miami you feel to get his confidence back up. As for Chung, his next match in Indian Wells will be just his second. He lost last year in round one to Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Chung looks fit since returning from his blister issues with back-to-back quarterfinal appearances in Delray Beach and Acapulco. This is a step up and where people are going to put some loftier expectations on the 21-year-old. It’s a great opportunity for him to show he’s a big tournament player and a consistent threat.
The Eliminati have had a large presence in Indian Wells in recent times. At least seven seeds have been dumped in their openers. There have been at least nine seeds ousted early in five of the last seven years here and top tier seeds have not been immune. Last year, you might remember that Andy Murray flopped as the top seed in his opener against Vasek Pospisil. Along with Cilic and Tsonga, he was one of three top ten seeds to fall in round two last year. Outside of 2016 when Benoit Paire was the highest seed to lose his opener at #19, at least one top ten seed has lost their opener every year since 2011.
Let’s take a look at the players who may well add more seeds to the list this week. Here are the Eliminati!
This is contingent of Paire not having French Brain in round one against a qualifier. The winner of that match gets a shot at 25th seed Filip Krajinovic. The Serb has been a rapid riser into the top 30, but is playing the main draw here for just the second time. He’s 0-1. Krajinovic is in off a semifinal run in Dubai, but he has zero top 50 wins this season.
Julien Benneteau/Jeremy Chardy
This is a better spot for Benneteau with the winner of the All-French first rounder getting a shot at 16th seed Fabio Fognini. Chardy has been free falling for a while now and is just 2-4. Benneteau took Fognini to five sets in Australia in their third round clash and is 1-1 against the Italian. Fognini arrives in good form, but it’s Fognini and that means nothing.
Ivo Karlovic/Maximilian Marterer
Karlovic would have the big chance against 12th seed Tomas Berdych if he gets there. Ivo is 5-3 against the Czech although they haven’t met since 2015 on grass in Halle. Karlovic’s first order is getting his first opening round win in Indian Wells since 2014. Marterer is another riser in the rankings now at #73. The German has a Challenger title under his belt this season along with solid third round finishes in Melbourne and a quarterfinal run in Sofia. Givern Berdych’s up and down play, perhaps Marterer would have a shot to get the scalp too.
El Shapo makes his Indian Wells debut this year against qualifier Ricardas Berankis, A win gets him a date with 30th seed Pablo Cuevas. Cuevas was a surprise quarter finalist here last year, where he picked up half of his six career wins in Indian Wells. This is a tough draw for the veteran though and Shapovalov’s electric game could certainly cause an upset if he gets it going early.
Fernando Verdasco/Guido Pella
Given third seed Grigor Dimitrov’s brain lock at this event in his career, it probably doesn’t matter if it is Verdasco of Pella in this spot. Both have a win against him with Pella’s coming last year in Miami. Verdasco’s win over Dimitrov came back in 2014 on clay and they have not met since 2015. Still, he has taken Dimitrov to three sets in all three meetings and he’s shown some good resiliency early on this season. Dimitrov will likely be pressed in his opener and could easily go down early yet again.
Taylor Fritz/Reilly Opelka
Both Americans will have some hope against 30th seed Andrey Rublev. The Russian has never played on the courts at Indian Wells, so either player will have match play in conditions in his favor. Fritz has been playing better early this year and will have good vibes in his home state, where he sprung upsets of Benoit Paire and Marin Cilic here last year. Opelka’s serve alone will make him dangerous. Rublev has been solid early on, but got worked over by David Ferrer in Acapulco and now faces the challenges of playing Masters events in a heavy early season workload.
Borna Coric/Donald Young
Coric will be favored to be in this spot as he is 2-0 against Young, who has struggled to find his best play in 2018. The winner faces 19th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas. ARV has normally been able to avoid opening round losses in Indian Wells, but could face a stiff challenge after a lackluster Golden Swing in South America. He made the Quito final and then struggled to get consistent results.
The American comes in off his first ATP semifinal in Acapulco. If he can stay hot, he’ll have an excellent shot to improve his record against 11th seed Roberto Bautista Agut to 2-0. Donaldson beat RBA in straights last August in Cincinnati. RBA is in good form though, so this could potentially be a very good and competitive match. Bautista Agut has been all or nothing this year with five tournaments played – two times he’s won the title and the other three, he has gone down in his opening match. Donaldson faces Evan King in round one.
Horacio Zeballos/Yuichi Sugita
The winner gets 11th seed Pablo Carreno Busta. The Spaniard continues to have issues getting past his opening match. He’s now lost his first match in eight of his last eleven tournaments played. Sugita beat Carreno Busta in their lone meeting last year, while Zeballos has never played PCB.
Steve Johnson/Daniil Medvedev
A tough draw for Nick Kyrgios with either of these guys in his way to start his Indian Wells campaign. Medvedev is 2-0 against Johnson with both wins coming against SJ during his tailspin in 2017. Johnson pulled out of Acapulco with an ankle injury, so his fitness could be a concern. That could give Medvedev even more of an advantage. Kyrgios has never met the Russian and is 0-1 against Johnson, retiring in Shanghai against him last year after dropping a tie break in the opening set. Either guy could pose a big threat to the Aussie.
Khachanov has to get by fellow Russian Evgeny Doskoy in round one, which may not be so easy. If he does though, he could present a tough out against Kevin Anderson. Anderson would probably love nothing more than to see Donskoy in this spot instead. He’s 3-0 against Donskoy. This is Khachanov’s second trip here beating Tommy Robredo last year, before dropping out against David Goffin in three sets.
Frances Tiafoe/Ernesto Escobedo
This is a big moment for Tiafoe. This will be his first match since winning his first ATP title in Delray Beach last month. Getting consistent wins at this level has been a key issue for the young American and Escobedo has beaten him twice at the Challenger level. Tiafoe is 1-2 at this event. The winner gets #28 Feliciano Lopez, who lost his opener here last year after making the fourth round or better three straight previous trips.
Monfils has to get past Matthew Ebden in round one, but if he does, he has a great shot of knocking off an out of form John Isner. Monfils has won four of their last five meetings, including their last which was at Indian Wells in 2017.
Viktor Troicki/Marton Fucsovics
The survivor gets 2nd seed Marin Cilic. Troicki is 4-5 against the Croat with Cilic breaking a five match losing skid against him when they last met in Cincinnati in 2016. Fucsovics was impressive in making round four in Australia, but has played in just one Challenger event since that tournament. Troicki might have the better shot to shock Cilic, but the Serb hasn’t won at Indian Wells since 2011 – a streak of five straight opening round losses will be on the line when he faces Fucsovics.
The German needs to get past Denis Istomin in round one to be relevant, but if he does – then Kyle Edmund beware. A rusty Brit will be facing a guy who already has made his first ATP final this season and has a couple of top 20 wins in 2018. I like Edmund’s power, but the downtown since January could be the big X-factor against a guy on a roll.
Quarter #1 Seeds
(1) Roger Federer: 57-11 (W – 2004, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2017)
(5) Dominic Thiem: 7-4
(12) Tomas Berdych: 21-13
(16) Fabio Fognini: 7-8
(20) Adrian Mannarino: 6-5
(23) Hyeon Chung: 0-1
(25) Filip Krajinovic: 0-1
(30) Pablo Cuevas : 6-5
As if Roger Federer needed any favors, he seems to get one with this part of the draw. Krajinovic is the other seed in the top half with Fed. The Swiss will get either Ryan Harrison or Federico Delbonis in round two. Harrison owns one win against the Argentine back in 2014 in Miami. Delbonis did make the fourth round here in 2016, so he’s not a pushover. Harrison has had problems with big serves this year. Delbonis can produce that, but struggles with consistency. Even though Delbonis beat Federer on clay in 2013, you’d have to say this is a nice path for Fed to get to the third round. Krajinovic goes against Paire or qualifier Mitchell Krueger. Paire would be a danger, depending on what version of the Frenchman shows up.
In the bottom portion of this top half, Fognini arrives in form and has Mannarino as the only seed to go through. He does have a potentially tough opener against either Julien Benneteau or Jeremy Chardy. I think Benneteau would provide the stiffer competition. Fognini has played reasonably well here, where I THINK he gets through still. Mannarino comes off the bye to face the winner of Marius Copil and qualifier Peter Polansky. Polansky is 0-4 in main draw matches at this level in 2017. Mannarino is 6-5 at Indian Wells and hasn’t lost his opener since 2014. Much like Fognini, I THINK he gets through, but Mannarino is dodgy at times. If this plays out to a Fognini-Mannarino showdown for a spot opposite of Federer in the fourth round,
As for the bottom half led by Thiem, the Austrian might have a little bit of a risky opener against either Radu Albot or Stefano Tsitsipas. Both have been playing reasonably well, but also likely won’t ask Thiem to alter his baseline bashing style. If he gets through, he likely won’t see Cuevas in round three. Cuevas has to go through Denis Shapovalov or qualifier Ricardas Berankis and I don’t like his chances to do that. It would be nice to see Shapovalov get an immediate chance for revenge after Thiem pummeled him in Acapulco last week. I expected more of El Shapo there and I always like to see if young players can learn quickly from their mistakes the first and second times they play the upper echelon guys. Berankis got a hard court win over Cuevas in 2015, so he might have a shot to take him down regardless of who moves to round two.
In the other portion of this half, Hyeon Chung and Tomas Berdych are the seeds. I’ve talked Berdych already about being potential upset fodder against either Ivo Karlovic or Maximillian Marterer. Should the Czech skirt that danger, it should be Chung that he faces for a shot to go through to round four. Chung will play either Lukas Lacko or Dusan Lajovic to open. Chung has looked solid since returning from the layoff due to the blisters he suffered in Melbourne. I do like him to get through to round three and honestly, as long as his serve doesn’t totally desert him – he should be in position to possibly get a healthy shot against Federer.
It’s difficult to see Federer tripping up before the semifinals. I think the one interesting match here would be the rematch against Chung in the quarterfinals. We didn’t get to see a healthy Hyeon Chung in their Australian Open match. Federer might still dismantle him, but it’d be nice to see the Korean get a chance to prove himself one way or the other at full health.
Quarter #2 Seeds
(3) Grigor Dimitrov: 5-6
(7) Kevin Anderson: 10-8
(11) Pablo Carreno Busta: 4-4
(13) Roberto Bautista Agut: 5-4
(17) Nick Kyrgios: 4-2
(19) Albert Ramos-Vinolas: 8-5
(26) Damir Dzumhur: 1-2
(27) Andrey Rublev: 0-0
There is not much history among the seeds here making deep runs. Outside of Kyrgios’ quarterfinal run last year, the seeds have all been unable to be involved in the tail end of this tournament. Dimitrov will open against the winner between Fernando Verdasco and Guido Pella. He’s going to have a tough time against either one and might not have to worry about the third round jinx if he’s not careful. Should he survive, things might actually get better as the draw wears on. Opposite of him is Rublev, who will face either Taylor Fritz or Reilly Opelka. It is feasible the third round could be two seeds against each other or two seeds not even involved.
In the other portion of this top half, two Spaniards – Bautista Agut and Ramos-Vinolas are the seeds. RBA gets the winner between Jared Donaldson and Evan King. If it’s Donaldson, I already looked at that one for you in the Eliminati and I think there is upset potential for the American. Ramos-Vinolas faces either Borna Coric or Donald Young. Young has actually had some nice runs at Indian Wells, but not in even numbered years. He’s been one and done in 2012, 2014, 2016 and could well make it 2018. Ramos-Vinolas might get the nod in this section. He crushed Donaldson in straights at the Australian Open this year.
In the bottom half of the quarter, Kevin Anderson is the lead seed. If he can get by his opener against either Karen Khachanov or Evgeny Donskoy, then his road opens up. A third round match likely would come against 26th seed Damir Dzumhur. Dzumhur would play Nicolas Kicker or Jiri Vesely in round two. I think those are both favorable for the Bosnian. I get the feeling that either Dimitrov or Anderson is going to join that top ten seed club. The club where a top ten seed has lost in their opener at Indian Wells consistently over the last seven years. Dimitrov seems more obvious, which might mean Anderson is the one who loses.
In the other part of this half, Carreno Busta and Kyrgios are your seeds. PCB is so hard to trust these days with his early struggles at tournaments. Neither Zeballos or Sugita inspires as a big threat, but playing Carreno Busta says they do. Kyrgios also has a potential landmine in his opener with either Steve Johnson or Daniil Medvedev on tap. A long layoff for NK means he will need to find his serve early with both Johnson and Medvedev capable of matching him in that category. I would not be surprised to see this part of the draw open up for maybe Medvedev if his first serve is popping. I think between the Russian and Kyrgios, you probably have a likely fourth round candidate.
Anderson is the form guy here and the most consistent guy, but he’s drawn tough early. I think if he escapes from his opener unscathed, then he’s got every reason to believe he can at least get to the quarters and maybe one step further. Dimitrov looks to be in a similar spot, where if he avoids early trouble then he could find a groove. The guy who could sneak through this quarter if he avoids the early upset is obviously Bautista Agut.
Quarter #3 Seeds
(4) Alexander Zverev: 4-2
(8) Jack Sock: 8-6
(9) Lucas Pouille: 1-2
(14) Diego Schwartzman: 1-3
(18) Sam Querrey: 13-12
(21) Kyle Edmund: 1-2
(28) Feliciano Lopez: 12-15
(32) Milos Raonic: 16-6
There is a lot of young talent among the seeds, but also plenty of question marks surrounding those players. Let’s start with Zverev. The knee injury he sustained in Acapulco I am thinking is not a huge issue at this point. If it was, Sascha had nothing to lose by skipping this tournament to rest for Miami where he has more points to defend. He will open against Mikhail Youzhny or Joao Sousa. I could see either one at least making Sascha earn everything in round two, but if healthy, he should pass through.
Milos Raonic is the seed in the other portion of this top half, the all-Canadian top half. Raonic has been unable to recapture any sort of form with a disappointing 1-3 record this season. He takes on one of two qualifiers – Vasek Pospisil or Felix Auger-Aliassime. Pospisil has been playing well in Challengers, but is still seeking win #1 at the ATP level in a main draw this year. Felix is still hunting for ATP win #1 and he’s looked a bit unsteady in transitioning to Challengers and ATP main draws. Against a player he is familiar with some though, it could be an entertaining round one with Pospisil. Tough to feel confident with Raonic, but he’s better than both of these guys if he can find his rhythm. That’s been a big issue though, so anything is possible.
Opposite of that quadrant, you’ll see a tasty looking section with Edmund and Schwartzman as the seeds. Schwartzman looked good on clay, but now has to transition that back to hard court success. Diego gets either Marcos Baghdatis or Yoshi Nishioka in round two. That’s winnable despite his lack of success at Indian Wells. It would be disappointing for him to not advance to round three. Edmund gets either Denis Istomin or Pete Gojowczyk in his opener. Gojo has much better form and would be a tougher out for the Brit. Gojo is 11-6 this season with wins over Sock, Krajinovic, Isner and Steve Johnson. He won’t go quietly.
In the other half of this quarter, it’s Sock and Pouille with some possibilities. Sock should be afford a good start against either Thomas Fabbiano or Bradley Klahn. A first-up loss should have him really evaluating his preparation, technique, everything. Opposite of him is Lopez at #28. He will have his hands fill with either Frances Tiafoe or Ernesto Escobedo. This is a huge chance for Tiafoe to continue his momentum from winning in Delray Beach. A Sock-Tiafoe third rounder would be big for American tennis.
In the other portion of this half, Pouille also should get off on the good foot with either Yuki Bhambri or Nicolas Mahut first-up. Sam Querrey is the seed opposite of the Frenchman. Querrey gets the winner between Mikhail Kukushkin and Mischa Zverev. Kukushkin does have two wins over Querrey, but they came ages ago on clay. Querrey has lost his opener at Indian Wells in two of the last three years, but I think he comes through in this spot. Querrey could go further with a 2-0 record against Pouille, who as I have beat into the ground, has not really scored too many impressive wins despite his runs to three finals this season.
This quarter could take on a decidedly American look by the business end. Sock’s draw is conducive to him perhaps getting his game together after a sluggish start to 2018. Querrey also looks to be in a prime spot to make a run with favorable match-ups. Zverev’s half looks wide open with so many health and form questions about Sascha, Edmund and Raonic. Could Schwartzman sneak through here? Seeds have had a death grip on the quarterfinals and beyond the last three years with no unseeded players making the quarters since Benneteau did it in 2014. Raonic is a deep sleeper is he can rediscover a consistent forehand.
Quarter #4 Seeds
(2) Marin Cilic: 9-10
(6) Juan Martin Del Potro: 18-7
(10) Novak Djokovic: 49-7 (W – 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016)
(15) John Isner: 21-10
(22) Kei Nishikori: 10-9
(24) Gilles Muller: 5-7
(29) David Ferrer: 10-12
(31) Philipp Kohlschreiber: 14-11
This is a loaded quarter that could provide some of the bigger moments of this tournament. Cilic does not have the greatest history here and his opener against either Viktor Troicki or Marton Fucsovics won’t be an easy win by any means. Should he advance, things could pick up with Philipp Kohlschreiber as the other seed in this quadrant. Kohlschreiber starts with Tim Smyczek or Laslo Djere. The German has made the third round each of the last three years and in spite of a poor start this year, might have a shot to get there again. Kohlschreiber is 6-4 against Cilic, so he won’t be hopeless if those two square off.
Opposite of that section, things could be open for seeds to fall with Isner and Muller as the seeds in that quadrant. Isner has done well here, but likely could face Gael Monfils in round two. That could spell curtains for the American. Muller will face either Pierre Hugues-Herbert or Gilles Simon. Neither Frenchman is tearing it up currently, so Muller should feel good about his chances. Simon does have a couple of wins against Muller back in 2014 and 2015, so perhaps he will make things rougher than expected. If Cilic wants to make a run for #1 as he’s talked about, this is the type of draw he needs to take advantage of and make at least the quarterfinals.
The other half of the quarter is star studded. Del Potro leads the way after his Acapulco title and should carry the swagger of a player in super form. DelPo has a good draw to at least get through to round four. His opener will come against either Jan-Lennard Struff or Alex de Minaur. De Minaur’s defense might make a Del Potro meeting interesting, but I’m not sure the Aussie teen can keep pace with the Argentine’s power. Opposite of Del Potro is David Ferrer. The Spaniard will contend with either Nikoloz Basilashvili or Tennys Sandgren in round two. Even though Ferrer’s form has been sketchy, he could have a shot to get to round three with this draw.
The other quadrant here is sure to attract all eyes with Djokovic and Nishikori. Djokovic returns for the first time since Melbourne, looking to re-establish himself. The Serb will play Cameron Norrie or Taro Daniel to open. You’d favor him if his elbow is healed, but we’ll have to see. As for Nishikori, it’s time for him to put up or shut up. He’s had a month of play to get the rust off and this looks like the time to surge or be prepared to struggle. Nishikori will need to beat Victor Estrella Burgos or Leonardo Mayer to set up a clash in the third with Djokovic. Djokovic leads the head-to-head 11-2 with the last full match coming at the Tour Finals in 2016, a win for the Serb. Nishikori hasn’t beaten Djokovic since his shock win at the 2014 U.S. Open
This is very difficult to call without knowing what Djokovic is going to bring to the table. Despite Cilic’s lack of recent success in Indian Wells, his draw screams quarterfinals. Del Potro will be the big pick of most to make the quarters and possibly go further. He will have to earn it, especially if Djokovic is fit and finds form. The Serb is 14-4 against him and a big roadblock. For me, I think this is Djokovic or Del Potro if Djokovic proves fit.
Juan Martin Del Potro
AND THAT”S THE BOTTOM LINE BECAUSE THE PIG SAID SO …
So is this just another week of As Roger Wins? It very well could be, but there is some potential to see Federer pushed this week. Del Potro comes in hot, but will have some pressure on him to perform with the consistency shown in Acapulco. Djokovic’s return could ignite several rivalries with Federer of course being the big one, but only one we would see in a final. It’s still tough to go against Federer with a better draw, while Del Potro or Djokovic would likely have to go through the other and more to get to the final.