Indian Wells news: Daniil Medvedev can become eighth World No 1 to win event

ATP Tour
Daniil Medvedev in action

Daniil Medvedev’s quest to hold onto the World No 1 ranking goes ahead as he prepares to compete as a neutral at the Indian Wells Masters.

Medvedev can also become the eighth World No 1 to win the Indian Wells title, following in the footsteps of Jimmy Connors in 1976, Jim Courier in 1993, Pete Sampras in 1994-95, Lleyton Hewitt in 2002-03, Roger Federer in 2004-06, Rafael Nadal in 2009, Novak Djokovic in 2015-16.

It would be the 12th time the top-ranked man has won the ATP 1000 event.

As for his biggest competition for the crown, that is expected to come from Rafael Nadal.

Nadal has started this season on fire, clinching trophies at the Melbourne Summer Set, Australian Open and the Mexican Open.

His victory at the first Grand Slam of the year meant he moved to a record-breaking 21 Major crowns.

The 35-year-old, who is 15-0 on the season, has triumphed in the Californian desert three times in 2007, 2009, and 2013.

Another Russian competing as a neutral, Andrey Rublev, could be the tournament dark horse.

The World No. 6 has found terrific form in the past month, lifting titles in Marseille and Dubai.

Rublev has now earned five ATP 500 crowns following his victory in Dubai. However, the 24-year-old will be keen to transfer this form to Masters 1000 level.

He is yet to win an ATP 1000 event, with his best performance in Indian Wells runs to the third round in 2019 and 2021.

Britain’s Cameron Norrie returns to defend his crown, and is also playing well having finished as runner-up to Nadal in Acapulco.

Norrie won the 2021 Indian Wells title with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory against Nikoloz Basilashvili in the championship match.

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are tied for the most titles in tournament history but neither man will be in the field.

Barring Djokovic the rest of the world’s top 20-ranked players are expected to line up in the desert.

Top 10 stars Stefanos Tsitsipas, Matteo Berrettini and Hubert Hurkacz will aim to win a first title of the season in Indian Wells.

Tsitsipas’ best result this season was a run to the final in Rotterdam where he lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Berrettini meanwhile reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open.

Hurkacz, who captured his maiden Masters 1000 title at the other half of the Sunshine Double in Miami last year, advanced to the last four in Dubai.

Hurkacz and Tsitsipas reached the quarter-finals in Indian Wells in 2021, but Berrettini could only advance as far as the third round.

The Indian Wells draw will be held on Tuesday 8 March.