Daniil Medvedev will take to the court for the first time since reaching the top of the ATP Rankings on Saturday as he seeks a strong start against Czech qualifier Tomas Machac at the BNP Paribas Open.
The 2021 US Open champion was able to reflect on his hard-earned status as World No. 1 this week in Indian Wells, as he received a trophy recognising the achievement.
He shared the iconic moment with coach Gilles Cervara, agent Olivier van Lindonk, fitness trainer Eric Hernandez and his wife, Daria. Despite the celebrations, Medvedev has no intention of taking his foot of the gas.
“I think it [being No. 1] is a lot of pressure, but at the same time a lot of motivation,” he said at his pre-tournament press conference. “I’m going to try to do my best. It’s the same every tournament you play, try to gain as many points as possible.
The second-round clash on Stadium 1 will be the first ATP Head2Head meeting between Medvedev and Machac. The 20-year-old Czech has already shown he can also handle big pressure this week in California, saving 13 of 14 break points he faced on his way past Alexei Popyrin in the first round.
A man who has beaten Medvedev twice in 2022, Rafael Nadal, faces a tough opening test against #NextGenATP American Sebastian Korda. The pair has already practiced together this week in Indian Wells and Korda will hope that experience enables him to have more success than in the pair’s sole previous tour-level meeting. Nadal lost just four games in their 2020 Roland Garros clash.
World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas is seeking a first hard-court ATP Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells but starts his campaign against a player with real pedigree at the event in Jack Sock. Former Top 10 star Sock reached the semi-finals in 2017 and has also won two doubles titles in the California desert.
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Having won his first ATP 500 title at the Rio Open presented by Claro in February, Carlos Alcaraz will try and transport that success to Masters 1000 level as he faces American Mackenzie McDonald on Stadium 3.
The Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion will seek a fast start but believes the physical improvements he has made mean he is prepared in case his matches go long in Indian Wells.
“My team and I know how important it is to be strong physically,” Alcaraz said in his pre-tournament interview. “It was one thing we knew I had to improve a lot. It was a great focus during preseason. I am really happy. It gives me more confidence. I have more of a chance to keep my level high during a three or four-hour match against the best players.”
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Defending champion Cameron Norrie faces Pedro Martinez on Stadium 5. Norrie charged to a first ATP Masters 1000 title at the 2021 event but will face stiff competition from the Spaniard, who picked up his first tour-level title in Santiago in February.
Another strong run in Indian Wells would boost Norrie’s chances of breaking the Top 10 for the first time, but as his coach Facundo Lugones told ATPTour.com this week, success will not change the Brit’s calm demeanour.
“Even if he gets into the Top 10, he will still be just as down to earth,” said Lugones. “He will continue to have the same friends and treat everyone the same. I think that even if he were No. 1 in the world, he would still be the same humble person.”
Wild card Nick Kyrgios continues his campaign against Federico Delbonis on Stadium 2. The Australian impressed in his first-round victory over Sebastian Baez and afterwards spoke about the positive vibes he is enjoying as he returns to the tour for the first time since the Australian Open.
“I’m just comfortable in my own skin,” said the Australian wild card after his 6-4, 6-0 win over Baez. “Mentally I feel the best I’ve probably ever felt, to be honest.”
Other top players kicking off their campaign on Saturday include thirteenth seed Denis Shapovalov, who takes on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, while Reilly Opelka faces #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti and World No. 8 Casper Ruud takes on qualifier Christopher Eubanks.
SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 12 MARCH 2022
Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA –  Paula Badosa (ESP) vs Tereza Martincova
Not Before 8:00 pm
WTA – Naomi Osaka (JPN) vs  Veronika Kudermetova
STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – Jasmine Paolini (ITA) vs  Aryna Sabalenka
WTA –  Maria Sakkari (GRE) vs Katerina Siniakova (CZE)
ATP – Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) vs  Denis Shapovalov (CAN)
Not Before 5:00 PM
WTA –  Victoria Azarenka vs [LL] Astra Sharma (AUS)
WTA –  Jessica Pegula (USA) vs [Q] Marie Bouzkova (CZE)
STADIUM 4 start 11:00 am
WTA – Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs  Petra Kvitova (CZE)
WTA – Kristina Kucova (SVK) vs  Anett Kontaveit (EST)
WTA – Shelby Rogers (USA) vs  Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)
STADIUM 5 start 11:00 am
ATP – Federico Coria (ARG) vs  Daniel Evans (GBR)
ATP – H. Hurkacz (POL)/L. Kubot (POL) vs  T. Puetz (GER)/M. Venus (NZL)
ATP –  Cameron Norrie (GBR) vs Pedro Martinez (ESP)
ATP – Benjamin Bonzi (FRA) vs  Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)
STADIUM 6 start 11:00 am
ATP – [Q] J.J. Wolf (USA) vs  Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)
ATP – Filip Krajinovic (SRB) vs  Gael Monfils (FRA)
ATP – Fabio Fognini (ITA) vs  Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO)
ATP – C. Alcaraz (ESP)/P. Carreno Busta vs T. Fritz (USA)/T. Paul (USA)
STADIUM 7 start 11:00 am
ATP – N. Mahut (FRA)/F. Martin (FRA) vs  M. Granollers (ESP)/Horacio Zeballos (ARG)
ATP – M. Arevalo (ESA)/ J. Rojer (NED) vs  J. Peers (AUS)/F. Polasek (SVK)
ATP – A. Molteni (ARG)/D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs T. Brkic (BIH)/N. Cacic (CRO)
STADIUM 8 start 11:00 am
WTA –  Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) vs [LL] Magdalena Frech (POL)
WTA –  Viktorija Golubic (SUI) vs Yulia Putintseva (KAZ)
WTA – [Q] Kaja Juvan (SLV) vs  Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP)
WTA – Y. Xu (CHN)/Z. Yang (CHN) vs H. Chan (TPE)/M. Linette (POL)
STADIUM 9 start 11:00 am
WTA –  Elise Mertens (BEL) vs Marta Kostyuk (UKR)
WTA – Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) vs  Elena Rybakina (KAZ)
WTA – [Q] Daria Saville (AUS) vs  Ons Jabeur (TUN)
WTA – [DA] K. Flipkens (BEL)/S. Mirza (IND) vs  G. Dabrowski (CAN)/G. Olmos (MEX)