Andy Murray is looking to win the Indian Wells title for the first time
The world number one, who has defeated Lu in four of their five previous meetings, has struggled to produce his best in the California desert in recent years but he will be encouraged by his relatively kind draw.
Andy Murray’s potential path to the final could also include Feliciano Lopez, Roberto Bautista Agut, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Stan Wawrinka. The Scot has a winning record over all his likely opponents but at a venue where he has suffered shock defeats to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Donald Young and Federico Delbonis in the past, he will be taking nothing for granted.
In contrast, the bottom half of the draw is stacked with household names and filled with possible blockbuster clashes. Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal are scheduled to meet in the fourth round – a re-run of the Australian Open final – and the winner is likely to face the defending champion, Novak Djokovic, in the quarter-finals.
Andy Murray could take on Yen-Hsun Lu in the opening round in California
Before the Serbian can even contemplate another showdown with either Federer or Nadal, he must survive the most challenging section of the draw. A third round clash with the dangerous Juan Martin Del Potro looms large and a last sixteen duel with Nick Kyrgios, who defeated the world number two in Acapulco last week, is another possibility.
A big tournament is expected from the in-form Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian is positioned in a good section of the draw and if he can reproduce the explosive shotmaking that took him to the Australian Open semi-finals in January, then he should have aspirations of reaching the latter stages.
The British number two, Dan Evans, continues to impress and he will open up his campaign against the watchable German, Dustin Brown. The pair met last week in Dubai and it was the Birmingham man who recorded an emphatic win for the loss of just five games. Kei Nishikori awaits the winner.
Dan Evans will take on Dustin Brown in the opening round of Indian Wells
Kyle Edmund will take on the world number 95, Gastao Elias, in the first round. The prize for the victor is an opportunity to challenge Djokovic.
The men’s event does not kick-off until Thursday, but the women’s first round begins later today. Heather Watson, who is now ranked outside the top one hundred, starts against Nicole Gibbs from the United States. It is the first scheduled match on Stadium 1 and play will commence at 19:00 (GMT).
If Watson does prevail over Gibbs, then she will set up an all-British clash with Johanna Konta.
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