Roger Federer, riding high after an 18th Grand Slam triumph

The Swiss superstar, whose Australian Open victory in January signaled a resurgence after a year disrupted by injury, is drawn in the same quarter with three-time defending champion and second seed Novak Djokovic and Spanish fifth seed Rafael Nadal in the Indian Wells ATP Masters.

"Amazing, amazing draw," said world number one and top seed Andy Murray, who has the luxury of analyzing it from a safe spot on the opposite end of the bracket.

INSET: RODGER FEDERER PHOTO: COURTESY

"I've never seen anything like that, probably it would be one of the toughest sections of a draw of all time."

Ninth-seeded Federer, however, downplayed the drama of sharing a quarter with Nadal and Djokovic. Among the three of them they have won 12 of the past 13 Indian Wells titles.

To add a little more spice, they are joined by former US Open winner Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, dangerous Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco, mercurial Australian talent Nick Kyrgios -- who shocked Djokovic in Acapulco last week -- and tenacious teenager Alexander Zverev, who took Nadal to five sets in Melbourne.

"Most of the guys you won't even see, because they'll eliminate each other," the unflappable Federer said.

But he admitted it got his attention when the draw was made.

"The first message I got was Dudi Sela or Stephane Robert (for his first opponent) and I was like 'OK, fine,'" Federer said.

"Then I heard that Rafa was in my section I was 'OK'. Then I heard that maybe Novak's in my section -- you're like 'OK, fine.'

"It doesn't matter," Federer insisted. "I've gone through so many draws. I came here to Indian Wells to play against those guys. So it doesn't matter if it's the semis the final or actually the fourth round.

"I think it's good for me to play those guys early. I look forward to it."

The unique situation is the result of last year's drop in form -- and ranking -- for Federer and Nadal, who signalled their resurgence with an epic Australian Open final duel in which the Swiss emerged victorious.

Federer and Nadal could meet in the fourth round, and whoever advances from that section could meet Djokovic in the quarters.

In the same half, fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori and sixth-seeded Marin Cilic lurk.

 

The highest seed awaiting Murray in the quarter-finals could be seventh seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Third-seeded Stan Wawrinka, or eighth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem, could meet Murray in the top half's semi-final.

Next Story
LATEST STORIES
Football: Junior teams 'need more investment'

It is important to invest in junior teams so that they act as feeders to the senior team, the Harambee Starlets coach has said.

Government failed Kenyans on CHAN

Lack of good and ready facilities is one of the biggest reason for missing such a huge sporting event.

Berlin Marathon: World record holder Dennis Kimetto boasts that he is only person who could lower the world record

Kenya's gold medalist Eliud Kipchoge misses Dennis Kimetto's record by 35 seconds: Kimetto revels in unbroken world record as Eldoret comes alive

Our mediocrity cost us CHAN 2018 hosting rights

There is never a dull moment in Kenya’s sporting scene and this month has not been an exception, only worse because that is how things sport in Kenya are. For a better part of the month, Harambee Starlets have been playing in the COSAFA tourney, and for a moment, Kenyans who have been keen on the progress of the young ladies thought that they will bring home the trophy.

Athletics: Forgotten Koech happy to win Mombasa marathon

Brave Cosmas Koech overcame strong opposition to win the 35th edition of Safaricom Mombasa International 42km men race yesterday in Mombasa.

Rejected Kenya vow to continue stadia project

Kenya, stripped this weekend of the right to stage the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN), have vowed to continue with a stadium construction project.

More Stories
Rafael Nadal wins his sixteenth Grand Slam

Rafael Nadal raced to a third US Open title and 16th Grand Slam crown on Sunday with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 rout of South African giant Kevin Anderson.

Delight as Serena Williams 'welcomes baby girl'

Tennis superstar Serena Williams gave birth to a baby girl on Friday, US media reported, prompting an outpouring of delight from fellow professionals, celebrities and fans of the sporting icon.

Kerber bows to Japanese teenager

Japan's Naomi Osaka downed defending champion Angelique Kerber before facing a more time-consuming task tracking down her family movements.