To defend his IW title, Nole has to beat:
1) the heat
2) jet lag (Europe to America)
3) change of surface
4) tiredness (if he plays well against Rafa in DC)
5) the pressure of being defending champ
6) his previous unpleasant memories playing in the US
7) the pressure from the rising Murray
8) probably 2 of the other members of Fantastic Four
9) the little demon in himself
The greater the opponent, the greater the win.
The heat is not likely to be a problem. The average high temperature is around mid to high 20s°C with record high at low 30s° plus the humidity is low. It's the nicest time of the year, weatherwise, in the desert here.
Indian Wells is a 2 weeks event and top players have BYE to first round so won't play until Saturday, lots of time adjusting to jet lag and recover from tireness.
Rafa, Nole and Murray all subject to change of surface and for Federer, what surface as he hasn't played since AO
The crowd in Indian Wells is quite different from USO and he's pretty well liked there.
Of the top 4, Nole seems to be healthiest one (
) for the time being so....
The worst is the little demon in himself, as Rose said.