For the first time in three years Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray will be the top four seeds at this year’s tournament in Indian Wells. Often referred to as the unofficial ‘fifth major’ or Grand Slam event, the BNP Paribas Open always attracts a huge amount of worldwide interest and provides plenty of drama on the court – this year should be no exception.

The top half of the draw features defending champion Novak Djokovic, World No. 4 Andy Murray and this year’s surprise package David Ferrer. The Spaniard has already bagged three titles in 2015 and has risen to No. 8 in the world rankings; and If the draw plays out as expected, he should meet the Serbian favourite at the quarter-final stage. However, Aussie Bernard Tomic may have something to say about that in the third round.

After reaching the Australian Open final, Andy Murray has been in mixed form. His quarter-final appearances at Rotterdam and Dubai were let down by poor performances against Gilles Simon and Borna Coric and the Scot may have to face a tough Indian Wells opener against Vasek Pospisil. If he does make it to the last eight as expected, he could end up facing World No. 5 Kei Nishikori. The Japanese player is in great form and could prove too hot for Murray who does not have a great record at this venue.

The conditions at Indian Wells seem to favour the big servers and last year’s semi-finalist John Isner could make a big impact again this year. He may have to overcome another of the games big-servers in Kevin Anderson at the third round stage and if he progresses beyond that, a rematch against Djokovic could be on the cards.

Top half tip: Djokovic

The bottom half of the draw could also produce some interesting match-ups with both Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer in the mix.

Federer has won here four times and at 33 years of age, he is showing no signs of hanging up his racket just yet. The world No. 2 will line up in the bottom half of the draw alongside Rafa Nadal with the two set to meet in the semi-final. If they do both make it to the last four, it will be the 34th meeting between the two.

The Swiss No. 1 may have to overcome his fellow countryman Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals but only if the World No. 7 can navigate his way through a draw that could include a fourth round meeting with Tomas Berdych.

Nadal continued his comeback from surgery with his 65th career title in Buenos Aires, and will be looking to improve on last year’s third round exit. His path to the final could potentially include a quarter-final match against sixth-seed Milos Raonic.

It tempting to play safe and back Federer for a place in the final against Djokovic but Nadal is coming back into form and has good record against the Swiss player. The conditions should also suit the Spaniard if he can find his game.

Bottom half tip: Nadal

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