ATP Masters 1000Indian WellsRoger Federer

Indian Wells Draw 2017 – Federer in Tough Section

The Indian Wells draw ceremony took place at midnight here in the UK, and it’s a tough one for Roger who has landed in the same section as Nadal and Djokovic. With his seeding at 9th, he’d have to beat both of them potentially to make the semi-finals!

Federer’s Projected Opponents

  • Round 1: Bye
  • Round 2: Dudi Sela / Stephane Robert
  • Round 3: Steve Johnson
  • Round 4: Rafael Nadal
  • Quarter Final: Novak Djokovic
  • Semi Final: Kei Nishikori
  • Final: Andy Murray

Full .PDF printable draw

Thoughts on the Draw

Federer Indian Wells Draw Tough

After the standard bye in the 1st round, Federer will either face Dudi Sela or Stephane Robert. That’s a great first match whoever he plays, neither of them has made it out of the first round here before, and they don’t have the game to trouble Roger. Robert is certainly tricky with his style, but Fed would need to have a day to lose that one.

Round 3 gets much tougher though with Steve Johnson or Kevin Anderson the likely opponents. Anderson is on his way back from injury and is yet to win a match, but conditions in Indian Wells suit him.

Johnson is a tough customer, but Roger handled him easily at Wimbledon, and his backhand is a liability, so he’d need a perfect serve + forehand day to win. Donskoy proved anything is possible, but Roger owns Anderson and Johnson doesn’t have a good record against Top 10.

The fourth round is then seeded to be Nadal who might have to play Fiasco in the third round who’s in a bit of form. This one will be interesting if it happens after what occurred in Melbourne. Fed has never beaten Nadal three times in a row, so it’s tough to call. Slow court but quick through the air, 1-1 in Indian Wells. Fifty-fifty I think.

The quarters has Djokovic has the seeded opponent, but he’s a bit of an unknown given his recent form. He’s on an 18 match winning streak in Indian Wells, but I’m not sure what that counts for, Melbourne was another stronghold of his and Istomin happened. I don’t follow Novak that closely but he looks like he’s lost weight when he was already pretty wiry and just isn’t quite at the superhuman level he maintained from 2011 until the French Open last year.

It seems pointless looking further than Round 4, but the semis is then Kei who had a weak clay swing in South America and then Murray in the final who has a real cakewalk draw.

The Other Half Of The Draw

Stan Indian Wells

With Roger’s section packed, Murray’s half is looking pretty light, and you can’t see that much trouble in his way. His record isn’t great in Indian Wells though so not unthinkable someone like Bautista-Agut pushes him. Tsonga and Wawrinka are also in his section, Jo is in good form winning back to back titles and Stan is coming in off a first round loss in Dubai, but they’re both massively unpredictable so they could either crash early or win the whole thing.

Anway, aside from the obvious interest here of seeing how Roger will fare, the most interesting question is will the Federer, Djokovic, Nadal stranglehold in Indian Wells come to an end? They’ve won 13 of the last 14 between them with only Roger’s coach Ljubicic breaking the streak in 2010. I’m going to say yes, and we get a first time Masters 1000 winner.

What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments.


Editor of Perfect Tennis and a big fan of Roger Federer, I've spent countless hours watching and analysing his matches. Alongside playing the sport, I also enjoy writing about the tour, rackets, strings, and the technicalities of the game. Whether it's breaking down the latest tournament results or discussing the latest gear innovations, I'm always eager to share my insights with fellow tennis enthusiasts.

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  1. Although very tough, it’s exciting as the same time.
    It would be great to see a Roger Djokovic match.

  2. Its tough…..they said…at AO.

    If he can do it in a GS, he can also do it here.

    Remember guys, any matches Fed plays, is already bonus.

    If he wins it, its cherry on top !

  3. How many will make it to their matches I see Gasquet is out already. Interesting how all this lack of balance in the draws might develop but looks hard for RF and a few others…onwards and upwards. Go Fed !

  4. Brutal draw tbh but anything can happen. I have low bar/expectations for this tourney, every match that Roger wins is good for me πŸ™‚

  5. Even if he somehow gets past Rafa I don’t know if he can beat Novak right after regardless will be a very very interesting tournament whoever makes it out of that section is likely the favorite to win it all.

    1. Yeah wide open tournament really. Nobody been ultra consistent so far this year, guess Nadal making back to back finals means he’s going to convert one into a title at some point.

  6. All three – Fed, Rafa & Novak are equally vulnerable at this moment.

    So nothing really to worry.

    As long as Fed plays with an intent to win, unlike against Donskoy ( I haven’t still gotten over that ) he can beat anybody.

    So Indian well, well, well, here we come, come , come

  7. Jonathan, the temperature numbers here are wrong, wrong, wrong. It will be in the low 30’s and even warm at night. Check out Palm Desert, a stone’s throw away. Or accu-weather.

    On my way at the crack of dawn on Thursday. I have tickets for 4 days and back home on Tuesday.
    So excited! Once again Larry has done a lot of renos this time to stadium 1.

    I was hoping Roger would be playing doubles but doesn’t look that way. Nadal and Tomic?
    And Raonic out with a leg injury. He will lose 600 points, made it to the final last year.
    Yes, Novak is a walking skeleton these days. What’s with that?

    Can’t wait to see Fed walk on court, stadium green and all !

    1. It runs off a Weather API – I’m not sure where the data comes from. Google saying 25 now, mine 18.

      Enjoy Indian Wells, you’re staying in the AirBnB you stayed in last year right? πŸ˜€

  8. How the fuck did it happen that RF, Rafa, Djoker, Nishikori, Dimitrov, Cilic, Pouille, Kyrgios, A.Zverev and Del Potro are all together in the bottom half of the draw?! I mean I know that it’s all with the seeds stuff, but this draw is insane! Let’s look at the top half: Murray, Bautista Agut, Lopez, Goffin, Tsonga, Wawrinka, Berdych, Monfils and Thiem. Top draw is fucking BS. Easy matches for Murray. Might as well give him the title.

    Seriously, I think if Fed approaches IW the same way he did AO, he might have a chance for the title. Apart from Murray who will surely go to the finals with a draw like that, I really don’t know who will go to the finals in the bottom half. Just look at all the players there!

    Yup, I am disappointed by the draw. Why does the #1 always gets easy draws? Like Djoker had like always super easy draws when he was first, now Murray will prob also get them. (facepalm)

    1. Murray’s record not great in Indian Wells so if he can’t win it with this draw. Will he ever? Favourite going in after Dubai.

      Maybe Querrey can do it πŸ˜‰

    2. Jon, I guess that plugin has stopped working again! I couldn’t get on here without typing the URL out by hand again.

      At least you can’t say Roger has had the draw rigged in his favour by the new TD πŸ™‚ One match at a time, I guess, just like the AO, and we’ll see what happens.

    1. Guess there’s a chance based on the Olympics. Is Indian Wells Del Potro’s best Masters 1000 result when he took Dull to 3 in the final?

  9. Hi Jonathan,
    Super excited to be going to Indian Wells and seeing Roger again. I have tickets for Saturday and Sunday. The draw is crazy though. I am kicking myself for not getting night session tickets. I have tickets for only the day session of round of 16 day. If Rafa and Roger make it to the fourth round I am sure they will play the night session. I’ll be bringing a big telephoto lens. We will see what kind of pics I can get this year.

  10. Now I understood how Querrey beat Rafa.

    Querrey had similar shorts to those that Wawrinka used…


  11. An incredibly difficult draw! How did it happen? Murray has it served in silver plate…
    We’ll see how far can Roger go with all those hungry avengers around.
    Now watching Roger walk into the court will make it all worthwhile!

  12. Tough quarter but I’m just happy Roger is in it anywhere!

    Sue and Fran, have a great time there! Look forward to the fan report πŸ˜‰
    Sue, behave yourself when you watch our guy, will ya!

  13. It’s a tough draw indeed.. surprisingly Im excited about the draw. Maybe that’s the effect of winning a grandslam. πŸ™‚

  14. It was not a tough draw in Dubai and see what happened. In fact the tougher the draw the better I guess.

    As Fed himself says, he is least worried about it.

    So good luck to the guys who will face him.

  15. Top half plays first?? After this sh*t draw they still wanted top half to play first?! So much for a good friend to be your tournament director…

  16. Very tough draw especially after Roger’s showing in Dubai – makes Roger winning this an impossible dream. But that’s how it looked a couple of months ago in Australia. I will be glad if Roger can beat Dull and makes the H2H look better and better moving forward. Looks like meeting with Dull in 4th round is sure to happen and I just hope it goes Roger’s way again. A little harder given the slow courts, but his new mindset and confidence should help.

  17. Murray out and the bottom half is looking even heavier now.

    Loved the line – Anything is pospisil

      1. Wanda / Muser, It was the ATP World Tour report headline, not mine, but loved the pun.

        But fact of the matter is that its true, and as the Canadidas tagline may say

        Impospisil is nothing

      2. Right Murli, read it afterwards. Nice that not only you, but also some of the ATP text-scribblers may have sense of happy puns.
        And thanks for the follow up πŸ™‚

  18. Hi all and Jonathan!
    I just watched the press conference with Fed and Elementary/Primary school kids. I was laughing at Feds answers and how nervous he was? Lol. But I thought it was pretty cool.
    Since Sir Mugrey is out I hope that the same thing that happened in Oz open that Djokovic loses early too??? Probably not but hoping that K Edmunds has his career best match.
    Anyway hope all the readers here are okay as I haven’t commented in a while. I know its old but good news I go abroad more often when its the Grand Slams as I watched Federer win while I was on holiday in Bangladesh. Anyway hope Federer has a goodIIndian Wells tournament despite the group of death draw.

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