◼️ Roger Federer, number one in the world and champion of Australia this year, starts as the undisputed favorite in the first Masters 1000 of the season.

The Indian Wells Masters, considered the “fifth Grand Slam”, starts this Wednesday with the first round activity in the women’s box, which highlights the return of Serena Williams, while the men will start on Thursday with the main draw matches, which will not have the presence of Rafael Nadal.

Rafael Nadal, who dropped out of the Mexican Tennis Open just before his debut, will not play in Indian Wells or the Miami Masters 1000 due to the injury suffered in his last training in Acapulco. The Spanish tennis player hurt the same area (the psoas iliac muscle that goes from the hip to the thigh) that gave him problems at the Australian Open and forced him to retire from the first Grand Slam of the year.

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On the other hand, the Serbian Novak Djokovic confirmed his return to the courts to participate in Indian Wells. After missing the second half of last season with a right elbow injury, the former one of the world played the Australian Open, but didn’t perform to his maximum level. He had to undergo a small operation and will now test his physical condition in the first Masters 1000 of the season.

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Nole, who has a first round bye, waits for a rival from the qualifications. The Serbian arrives as the tenth seed of the tournament, so in the third round he could have a complicated match against the Japanese Kei Nishikori. In addition, he would face the Argentinean Juan Martin del Potro, flaming champion of Acapulco, in the round of 16.

The tournament is headed by Swiss Roger Federer, who defends the title and starts as the top favorite to win the tournament after his victory at the Australian Open. The number one in the world waits in the second round to the winner of the match between the American Ryan Harrison and the Argentine Federico Delbonis.

The bottom of the table is led by Marin Cilic, the number three in the world and Australian Open finalist this year. The Croatian dropped out of Acapulco, but looks like he will be able to play in the Californian desert. His first opponent will come from the match between the Serbian Viktor Troicki and the Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.

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SERENA RETURNS IN SEARCH OF RECOVERING HER THRONE

After giving birth to her daughter in September of last year, Serena Williams will return to play at Indian Wells, Premier Mandatory category tournament for women. The former number one of the ATP ranking played for the last time in the final of theAustralian Open in 2017, that disputed already pregnant and in which she overcame her older sister, Venus.

Serena will have to start from the bottom, because due to her long absence she’s not among the best sown. She will play the first round on Thursday against Kazakh Zarina Diyas in her quest to win a tournament that she hasn’t been able to win since 2001. The American aspires to her third title.

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Simona Halep, world number one, and Caroline Wozniacki, second in the ranking and Australian Open champion, start as the main candidates for the title. The Romanian will debut against the winner between the Chinese Ying-Ying Duan and the Czech Keysyna Pliskova. While the Danish awaits the winner of the duel between the doubles champion of Acapulco, the Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko, and the Spanish Lara Arruabarrena.

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