World number one Roger Federer could face his nemesis Andy Murray of Britain in the Pacific Life Open quarter-finals after being seeded one in Tuesday's draw.
The 26-year-old Swiss is a three-times champion at Indian Wells Tennis Garden but has lost to Murray twice in three career meetings, most recently at this month's Dubai Championships.
Federer, edging his way back to full fitness after contracting glandular fever at the end of last year, was beaten 6-7 6-3 6-4 by Murray in the opening round in Dubai.
"I definitely could have played much better tennis but you've got to give credit to the guy who beat you and came up with shots," the 12-times grand slam champion said after his premature exit.
"It was always going to be a tough draw. He's played many matches already this season whereas I come in a little bit cold."
Murray, 20, has won ATP titles this year in Doha and Marseille while Federer's only other tournament appearance came at the Australian Open where he lost in the semi-finals.
However, they both face tricky routes to reach the last eight at Indian Wells.
Federer, who has a bye into the second round, takes on Argentina's Sergio Roitman or Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain in his opening match. Last year, he lost at the same stage 6-3 4-6 6-0 to Argentina's Guillermo Canas.
The Swiss is seeded to meet Spaniard Nicolas Almagro followed by Tommy Robredo, also of Spain, in the fourth round.
Murray, seeded 11th, will start against either Austrian Jurgen Melzer or former world number one Marat Safin of Russia in the second round.
Should he clear that hurdle, the Scot is likely to meet Croat Ivo Karlovic before big-serving American Andy Roddick lies in wait in round four. Roddick returns to the U.S. in prime form, having triumphed in Dubai.
Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who won last year's title with a 6-2 7-5 victory over Serb Novak Djokovic, has been seeded second with Djokovic third and Russian Nikolay Davydenko fourth.
In the women's draw, world number two Ana Ivanovic of Serbia is the top seed with Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova second, Serbian Jelena Jankovic third and Maria Sharapova fourth.
Russian Sharapova, who claimed her third grand slam title at the Australian Open in January, is seeded to meet 2007 Pacific Life Open champion Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia in the last eight.
The women's competition starts on Wednesday with the men joining the fray the following day.