Indian Wells draw

Photo by REUTERS/Michael Fiala

Ah…finally time for another RafaDraw before some RafaTennis. The draw for Indian Wells is out. Rafa’s in the bottom half of the draw. Rafa’s first match (in the second round) will be against a qualifier. The first seed he might come up against is Benneteau. Seeded players in his quarter is Davydenko, Troicki, Berdych, Verdasco, Isner, Querrey and Benneteau. Seeded players in the other quarter of Rafa’s half are: Cilic, Bellucci, Monaco, Ferrero, Simon, Ljubicic, Kohlschreiber and Djokovic. Seeded players in the top half are: Federer, Baghdatis, Robredo, Stepanek, Monfils, Melzer, Tipsarevic, Roddick, Murray, Andreev, Karlovic, Ferrer, Tsonga, Montanes and Soderling.

Rafa’s draw looks pretty good to the quarters (if you count possible Isner/Querrey match up in the round of 16 good – I do) . After that? Things could get very, very tricky. His most likely quarterfinal match ups would be Davydenko (if his wrist holds out) or Verdasco (if his sciatic nerve isn’t acting up). His most probable semifinal opponent would be Djokovic.

32 Responses

  1. Nic says:

    No Fed?! Or did I miss something?

  2. Ch F says:

    No draw would be easy after six weeks of absence, but I think this could have been worse. Hopefully his match against the qualifier will help him get some rhythm before facing more difficult opponents.

  3. Stf says:

    I’m optimistic…for some reason, it seems to me that a lot of players have run out of fuel, which could be good for Rafa. Granted, he’s been out for six weeks but he won’t be as tired as other player. He can beat Davydenko and Djokovic. I’m pretty sure of it.

  4. sombina says:

    Bring it on I say! Thank god, I’m so ready for some tennis now, I’m bursting of excitement, almost have a GS feeling.

    The draw itself is okay. I guess it can’t be easy when all the top men are in. (Where is Nalbandian when we’re talking about IW, btw – still injured?)

  5. tiemyshoe says:

    All I have to say is, BRING IT.

    Er, I have no expectations. Only gleeeee that Rafa’s back to playing. Seeing him fully healthy, and non-tentative with his playing, would be the number one hope for me.

    • natch says:

      My number one hope is that he’s wearing tight short-shorts! :D
      Gah! I can’t believe I’m on the computer this late in the day.

  6. Atch2 says:

    There’s a chance of a Rafa/Fed Final. Thank you Tennis Gods.

    Bring on the Rafatennis and Rafa Roar!

  7. kyukee says:

    i think rafa vs davydenko is a most likely match at the quarters. hopefuly rafa will muster enough confidence as payback for that heartbreaking loss to davydenko early in the season, if that can get him fired up then it’s on the djokovic in the semis

    i must admit that the djoker is probably the most fit player among the top 4, but i’m hoping that he’s pretty beat up after playing all those matches after AO and after that 4hr game against isner at the Davis Cup

    im really hoping for a rafa win in IW, he always plays well here coz my bleeding heart could not take anymore rafa loses as of the moment.

  8. Atch2 says:

    Wonder if Murray is looking forward to a Fed match again.

    And it’ll be good for Rafa if he meets up with Nole or Davy before a Grand Slam again.

  9. g says:

    I thought Fed would be out still w/ the lung infection.

  10. Cheryl says:

    That’s not a bad draw – I was expecting worse.

    Vamos Rafa!

  11. Ale-delValle says:

    I am a really big rafa fan, i love rafa and I hope he could win as much masters as possible this year and the 3 grand slams left to regain the world number 1. But we gotta be realist, Rafa has a very tough draw. Julien Benneteu in 3rd round :S. Julien defeated Federer in the last Master in Paris, it sure will take a lot of game for Rafa to beat this guy. John Isner in the 4th round, this guy has been kicking ass this season. He won a tournament and went to a 5 set macth against DJOKOVIC in CLAY, his weakest surface, imagine if it would have been in Hard court. He has a huge serve and good strokes too. I think Rafa is going down against John Isner. But if he wins, he will probably face DAVYDENKO! this guy has been playing the best tennis of his life this last days. He could have won the australian open but he played terrible against Federer. Im pretty sure he will be in his top form, and this one is really hard to beat, especially in Hard courts. If Rafa reaches quarters against Davydenko, im pretty sure Rafa will retire or Davydenko will beat him like 6-3 6-3. If Rafa wins the quarters (which is almost impossible) he will probably face DJOKOVIC or FERRERO. The last three meetings between Rafa and Djokovic, Djokovic has defeated terribly Rafa. In Cincinnati Semifinal, Djokovic won 6-1 6-4. Paris Semifinals, Djokovic won 6-2 6-3. And Finally London RR, Djokovic won 7-6 6-3 :S. And if rafa wins the semis, finally another chance to capture his FIRST TITLE SINCE MAY 2009!!!!!!!!! I think SODERLING or MURRAY, will reach the finals from the other side. Federer will probably lose in semifinals or quarterfinals. Roger’s game is not the same in Masters compared to grand slams. Every year roger loses almost every master in semis or quarters. He has 16 master titles which is not a big deal compared to rafa’s 15 and to his 16 grand slam titles. So in conclusion, Rafa’s game today, is not as good as before, and he is not ready to win a Masters or a grand slam, especially in HARD COURTS. If Rafa returns to his form like 1 year ago, im 100% sure he will win almost every tournament in 2010!!!!

    So my predictions

    Rafa June 2009- March 2010
    1 round- Bye
    2 round- Rafa defeats qualifier 6-2 6-4
    3 round- Rafa defeats Benneteau 6-4 6-7 6-3
    4 round- Isner defeats Rafa- 6-1 7-6
    Quarterfinals- (if rafa reaches quarterfinals) Davydenko defeats Rafa 6-2 7-6
    Semifinals- (if rafa reaches semifinals) Djokovic defeats Rafa 6-4 7-5
    Finals- (if rafa reaches finals he has proven he is back) Rafa defeats Soderling or Murray
    7-6 6-4

    Rafa- 2008- May 2009
    1 round- Bye
    2 round- Rafa defeats qualifier 6-2 6-1
    3 round- Rafa defeats Benneteau 6-2 6-3
    4 round- Rafa defeats Isner- 7-6 6-2
    Quarterfinals- Rafa defeats Davydenko 3-6 6-4 6-3
    Semifinals- Rafa defeats Djokovic 7-6 7-6
    Finals- Rafa defeats Soderling or Murray 6-3 6-3

    Rafa- 2005- 2007
    1 round- Bye
    2 round- Rafa defeats qualifier 6-4 7-6
    3 round- Rafa defeats Benneteau 6-3 6-4
    4 round- Rafa defeats Isner- 7-6 3-6 6-4
    Quarterfinals- Davydenko defeats Rafa 6-2 4-6 6-3

  12. CC says:

    Davydenko… *gulps*

    Djokovic… *gulps*

    Vamos Rafa! We know you can do it!

  13. Arwen says:

    Not a bad draw at all.Kolya and djoko are out of their energy.

    Murray will take his revenge and beat Fed.And at last our guy will

    beat Murray in the final.Go Rafa gooooo……

    • CC says:

      Yay! I hope you’re right.

      Gosh, I’m so excited by all this I’m gonna be late for work. Heck… :D

    • SHerry says:

      I agree, the draw could have been much worse. And I also agree a lot of these guys are out of energy, Novak especially. Rafa could potentially meet him in the semis but to frank I don’t think Nole will even get that far. :(

      I’ve got a good feeling about this tourny. I think Rafa will surprise just about everybody. Except us of course! :)

  14. djb says:

    I’m not gonna lie, it’s not gonna be easy, especially if he has to play Isner or Querrey in the 4th round. Davydenko is not 100% and I doubt his wrist will hold up that well, so if he has to play Rafa in the quarters, I can see Rafa taking full advantage. If Rafa plays Fernando instead, I still see him getting through to the semis.

    If he can overcome Davydenko/Verdasco, and Djokovic, I think he can go on to repeat as champion, and honestly I think he deserves to win, considering what the last 12 months has been like.

    Deep down, I know that in the back of Rafa’s mind, whether he admits it or not, that he definitely cares about his ranking. I truly believe he wants to be be back on top at No. 1, winning the big titles again, and that he’s desperate to make a statement. What better place for Rafa to make a statement than Indian Wells, a place where he’s had a lot of success!

    So many people have written him off already, and it’s sad! Rafa’s FAR from done and I truly believe his best is yet to come. Good players like Rafa always find a way to bounce back.

    Vamos, Rafa!

  15. An says:

    We’re gonna take it one match at a time, No?
    And hopefully will enjoy 6 in a row!:)

    You can Rafa, we know you can!

    • Karen says:

      It’s still early in the season and most of the top 20 players have already had injuries, illness, or longish breaks for 1 reason or another so this could be anybody’s tourney, but hopefully Rafa’s. Would so love to see him beat Koyla,Nole & then Fed in final. That would shut the critics up!On the other hand they’d be all over him as he’d have just killed 3 birds with 1 stone. Beaten 3 top 10 players, retained a hard court title for the 1st time & won his 1st title in 10 months! Come on baby bull I know you can do this!!!

    • CC says:

      Yes, An. You’re so right. One match at a time. Always.

  16. Ch F says:

    Although I haven’t got great expectations, since our Rafa has been off competition for a while (again), the only thing I seriously hope is for Rafa to get his rhythm back a lot faster this time and to manage his nerves and mental part as well as he did in the AO. Some momentum is gone, I guess, but hopefully not all of it.
    For some reason I think this time it will be better than last time, given that he is now convinced he can bounce back even after bad injuries and play at a very good level.

  17. faeaki7 says:

    Yep any Masters series is gonna be real tough and they aren’t getting any easier, too many dangerous player here and it will be hard for Rafa to come back to competition to a strong field like this, its not like he can ease himself into match play is it, but on the positive side it will be good match practice with top competition!

  18. Rafangel says:

    Yeugh I think that’s a horrible draw :( There are a lot of dangerous HC players there especially of the hard-flat-hitting type that Rafa particularly hates (and lots of tall guys too). They may not be the very high seeds but they’re the type of players that Rafa struggles with.

    It’ll be interesting to see how quickly he picks up where he left off this time. Personally I’m not that hopeful for IW/Miami and suspect he may not be warm enough in time to defend Monte Carlo…but I really hope some of the points made here are right!