Murray handed tough draw

Congleton Guardian: Andy Murray, pictured, could meet Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open Andy Murray, pictured, could meet Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open

Andy Murray was handed a very tough draw at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

The Scot, who has a bye in the first round, will play either Rafael Nadal's 2012 Wimbledon conqueror Lukas Rosol or a qualifier in the opening match at the year's first Masters series event.

Murray has paid for being ranked only sixth and was pla ced in the same quarter as world number one Rafael Nadal in a top-heavy draw, with Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka and Roger Federer potential semi-final opponents.

First Murray must get that far, though, and his recent record at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden has not been great, the 26-year-old losing his first match twice in the last three years.

Last year he reached the quarter-finals before losing to Juan Martin del Potro, who is in the bottom half along with second seed Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych.

Third seed Wawrinka is making his return to the tour after taking time out following his stunning win in Melbourne, and he could play 6ft 10in Ivo Karlovic first up.

Defending champion Nadal will face either Radek Stepanek or Denis Istomin while Federer plays a qualifier and Djokovic meets either a qualifier or Victor Hanescu.

Australian Open champion Li Na is the top seed in the women's draw in the absence of Serena Williams, who considered ending her boycott of the tournament before then withdrawing.

Also in the top half is fourth seed Maria Sharapova, while Agnieszka Radwanska and Victoria Azarenka are the leading names in the bottom half.

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