500, David Ferrer defending; draw here.
Top 8 seeds: David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, Nicolas Almagro, Stanislas Wawrinka, Albert Montanes, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Juan Monaco, Juna Ignacio Chela
Points of interest: How about a first-round meeting between Thomaz Bellucci and Fernando Verdasco? There’s also the question of how new kid on the block Milos Raonic, due to play Carlos Berlocq in the opening round, will respond after his astonishing last couple of weeks – and on a different surface too. And, you know, Ferru.
Oh, and there’s always the question of whether everyone will make it out alive, particularly after this.
500, Novak Djokovic defending; draw here.
Top 8 seeds: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych, Mikhail Youzhny, Ivan Ljubicic, Viktor Troicki, Marcos Baghdatis, Ernests Gulbis
Points of interest: This was the first title Novak had ever defended in his career, but he’s got a tough road to make it a third year in a row; starting off with Michael Llodra, match-tough from Marseilles. In contrast, Federer’s quarter looks rather lightweight. Keep an eye out for an unseeded Nikolay Davydenko lurking about, and note the first-round meeting of qualifier Grigor Dmitrov and Richard Gasquet. Battle of the Baby Feds …
250, Ernests Gulbis defending (or not, given that he’s opted to go and lose in the first round of Dubai instead); draw here.
Top 8 seeds: Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey, John Isner, Kevin Anderson, Janko Tipsarevic, Benjamin Becker, Adrian Mannarino
Points of interest: Another American hard court tournament in spring, another brace of Americans, none of whom (with the exception of Roddick, who is clearly ill and may or may not play) particularly impressed last week in Memphis. But there’s a lot of interest in this draw: Dudi Sela, due for a rematch with Roddick; Julien Benneteau and Ivo Karlovic, both making their way back from injury, starting off with Ivan Dodig and Janko Tipsarevic respectively; former champion Kei Nishikori; and of course Delpo, Delpo, Delpo and Delpo, who will be playing Richard Berankis in the first round. Fair warning: he will probably lose to Berankis, who’s an infuriating bundle of counter-punching energy. Unfair warning: if he does, I’m cliffing myself.