2017 Indian Wells has brought together the entire herd of ATP tennis stars. The main draw had its scene filled up to the brim as all top players except for Milos Raonic were on the board. The draw left Andy Murray fumbling into an apparently easier part of the equation. But the Scot, the world no. 1, suffered a huge loss to Vasek Pospisil from Canada. On the other half of the board, to put in simple words, there is no room to breathe as the stage is animated with names like Djokovic, Federer, Nadal and other hard-to-beat opponents like Kyrgios.

For Nadal, the drought needs to end. His last ATP title was last spring in Barcelona during the clay swing.

The Spaniard had some huge opportunities

Since last year's title in Barcelona, Rafael Nadal has been struggling either with injuries or poor results. The season of 2017 brought back the sunshine on his side. That epic battle in the Australian Open final could have been his reset point, but in the end, it was Federer with the strongest mindset in the 5th set. Recently, Nadal had another opportunities to win an ATP title, this time facing a seemingly easier opponent. But the American Sam Querrey had a different agenda and he went on to stun Nadal 6-3 7-6.

Throughout the past months or so, it seems that the dynamic has changed.

The upsets are no longer a rare bird in the sky. Since the season kicked off, there was not a single tournament without at least a dose of these stirring outcomes. No stone left unturned seems to be the rule. All the tennis titans have fallen at least once under a questionable blade.

Nadal is sharing a hell pit

In the bottom half of the draw, any predictions seem worthless.

Getting through his first match at Indian Wells, Nadal will play Fernando Verdasco next. Also a left-handed Spaniard, Verdasco is the kind of player who plays his best against the best. He and Nadal both share a common history filled with great, thrilling matches. Two of the epics took place at the Australian Open, each of them needed 5 sets to have a winner.

Having just reentered the top 30, Verdasco is still a hard stone to move for most of the ATP top players.

If he gets past Verdasco, Nadal's projected trajectory includes potential clashes with Federer in the quarterfinals, and Djokovic in the semis.