ATP Indian Wells draw: Nadal to face Raonic in first round, Alcaraz and Sinner in the same half

World No 1 Djokovic and last year’s finalist Daniil Medvedev are in the top half

Rafael Nadal and Milos Raonic at the 2017 Australian Open Rafael Nadal and Milos Raonic at the 2017 Australian Open Image Credit: Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic

Spain’s Rafael Nadal will take on Canada’s Milos Raonic in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The draw for the first ATP Masters 1000 Series event was released on Monday and pitted the two veterans – both in the midst of their own comebacks – against each other with the winner advancing to face seventh seed Holger Rune in the second round.

Nadal has played only one tournament – the Brisbane International in early January where he reached the quarter-finals – since the 2023 Australian Open as he recovers from a lengthy hip injury. The Spaniard tested his fitness on Monday when he played in an exhibition with Carlos Alcaraz in Las Vegas.

Raonic, a former world No 3, returned to the Tour during the grass season and played four tournaments in 2023. The Canadian retired from both the events he has played in 2024; in the Rotterdam quarter-finals against Jannik Sinner and in the first round at the Australian Open against Alex de Minaur.

Nadal has won eight of the 10 career meetings between the pair. Their match is scheduled to played on Thursday evening.

Alcaraz Sinner in the same half of the draw

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz and Australian Open champion Sinner are in the bottom half of the draw and are projected to meet in the semis. The Italian, who is on a 15-match wining streak, will be chasing Alcaraz for the No 2 ranking this fortnight.

Alcaraz, who will be aiming to reach his first final on the tour since August, will face Frenchman Luca Van Assche or Italian Matteo Arnaldi in the second round, then could meet 31st seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the third round, sixth seed Alexander Zverev or Acapulco champion De Minaur in the last eight.

World No 3 Sinner, who is unbeaten in 2024, faces Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis or American Marcos Giron in the second round, then is projected to meet 16th seed Ben Shelton in the last 16, and potentially fifth seed Andrey Rublev in the last eight.

Former world No 1 Andy Murray, who recently said he does not plan to play much this summer, faces a qualifier in the first round with the winner there facing Rublev in the round of 64.

Meanwhile, world No 1 Novak Djokovic, who is playing in Indian Wells for the first time in five years, will face 69th ranked Aleksandar Vukic or a qualifier in the second round, then could get Dubai champion Ugo Humbert in the last 16 before facing Casper Ruud or Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals.

World No 4 Daniil Medvedev, who finished runner-up to Alcaraz last year, is in the same half as Djokovic. The Russian will take on Italian Flavio Cobolli or Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena in the second round, then could meet American 29th seed Sebastian Korda in the third round followed by 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov or 21st seed Adrian Mannarino in the last 16.

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