"It would be a lot to expect him (Djokovic) coming back and winning his first tournament at a Grand Slam".
The recurrence of a right hip injury initially suffered during the Australian Open that also forced his withdrawal from the Mexican Open in Acapulco means that Nadal will not compete in California or at the subsequent Miami Open. It's his 21st ATP title. But it's a tough draw with potentially Fernando Verdasco out of the gate, then another showdown with Andrey Rublev and the tricky Roberto Bautista Agut.
The 36-year-old Swiss marvel continues to defy the ageing process, claiming a sixth Australian Open crown two months ago.
American Johnson saved two match points, the second in a 21-shot rally. The winner will play American John Isner, who has a first-round bye. "I see only how Rafa [Nadal] and Novak [Djokovic] and everybody else is doing but only on the surface".
Federer now heads to Indian Wells to try and defend the title he won there last year, but his success in the BNP Paribas Open in 2017 could be what costs him his lofty ranking. That match came in the Hamburg semifinals in 2013, with Federer looking to find some form by playing the post-Wimbledon clay court swing.
In addition to Schwartzman's climb up the rankings, other noticeable movers include Del Potro, who finds himself securely in the Top 10 at No. 8, and Kvitova makes a welcome return to the Top 10 as well at No. 9. Is Murray too far compared to Djokovic, Nadal and Federer's talent? the answer is clear: no. "I think when you're at the top, everybody is watching everything you do extra carefully so you maybe go into a shell to some extent, because you don't want people to know your magic formula, if there is any", Federer said.
Jack Sock has warned Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic that their time at the top of men's tennis is about to come to an end as a new wave of younger players are ready to take over from the three that have dominated the game for over a decade. The same number as that of Stan Wawrinka.
Still, the British tennis player deserves to be a Big Four member. Indian Wells, however, is a tournament she can play.
"I guess, it's an extra motivation".
Federer can lose the top spot without Nadal playing, mind you. Though not the most powerful the Swiss' unerring ability to hit lines, particularly when under pressure, makes it a formidable weapon.
WTA Indian Wells is on Tennis Channel Plus.
Daria Gavrilova also has a first-up bye, with a match opposite Yanina Wickmayer or Kayla Day in the second round.
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