World number three Andy Murray returns to match play this weekend at Indian Wells. He could take over the number two spot in the ATP rankings by reaching the finals. But there’s a catch. This changing of the guard can only take place if world #2 Roger Federer loses before the semis. Wonder what the odds of that happening are?
At any rate, to help things along, third seeded Murray has a first round bye and will play either Evgeny Donskoy or Tatsuma Ito on Saturday or Sunday. On second thought, that bye may not be any help at all. Andy hasn’t played a match since his loss to Djokovic in the finals of the Autsralian Open in January. Most would say that a couple of tune-up matches would be beneficial to any player looking to get back in the mix. We will see.
The Indian Wells Masters, also know as the BNP Paribas Open, will see Murray, Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the same tournament for the first time since last year’s Wimbledon.
Keeping his eye on the prize, the Scot could face Kei Nishikori in the fourth round, Juan Matin del Potro in the quarter finals, Novak Djokovic in the semis, and Rafa in the finals (if Federer loses).
As for Nadal, he returned to action last week on clay in Latin America and came away with a championship trophy in Mexico. For me, his success was a gimme on that surface, but I’m not so sure his rehabilitated knee is ready for the likes of the top three on the hardcourts of Indian Wells. Personally, I think a Murray/Nadal matchup would be very interesting and highly entertaining. I’ll be pulling for the both of them.