For the first time in their careers, 2-time winner Roger Federer and Indian Wells champion Rafael Nadal didn’t show up on the draw. The draw still includes former champion Novak Djokovic, US Open winner Andy Murray plus Indian Wells runner-up Juan Martin Del Potro and many top stars.
Two-time defending champion Djokovic and winner of three Miami titles was drawn in the same half as Del Potro/Ferrer, Berdych was placed in Murray’s.
Djokovic might play with Lukas Rosol, Feliciano Lopez and Tommy Haas before either Kevin Anderson, Gilles Simon or his struggling countryman Janko Tipsarevic in the quarterfinals. Simon might have to play Lleyton Hewitt in the second round while Haas could face former champion Nikolay Davydenko in his third rounder.
The Ferrer-Del Potro quarter has just few real threats among the other seeds. Ferrer could run into Fabio Fognini before either Kei Nishikoiri or Jeremy Chardy. Del Potro might have Marcel Granollers ahead of Julien Benneteau or Juan Monaco.
Berdych will have to deal with strong competition within his section. The Czech is seeded to meet the sliding Fernando Verdasco in the third round before either Sam Querrey or Milos Roanic in the fourth. Likely quarterfinal opposition will come in the form of either Richard Gasquet or Nicolas Almagro.
Murray, the 2009 champion and Miami resident, has maybe the toughest quarter. Scot might just play with Bernard Tomic, Grigor Dimitrov and then Jerzy Janowicz. In the quarters it could Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, John Isner or Marin Cilic depending on who emerges from a brutal section which also includes Ivan Dodig, Viktor Troicki and David Nalbandian who plays Jarkko Nieminen.
These matches begin on Wednesday with play scheduled from the top half of the draw. Djokovic will open his title defense on Friday night against the Gilles Muller-Lukos Rosol winner. Murray will begin on Saturday.