Former British tennis player Arvind Parmar has issued a warning to Roger Federer that Kevin Anderson could be an "awkward" opponent at the 2018 Indian Wells.
The Swiss tennis ace defeated his compatriot Stan Wawrinka at the last year's tournament and will defend the title at the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in California in March. He is one of the firm favourites to win the Indian Wells, especially considering the form he has been in this calendar year.
Federer won the 2018 Australian Open and also regained the world No.1 spot at the Rotterdam Open in February. Novak Djokovic, who was sidelined with an injury, will return to Indian Wells and there is a possibility that the duo could face in the final.
Anderson lost to Juan Martín del Potro in straight sets at the 2018 Mexican Open on March 4. Parmar believes a fit and healthy South African can create problems and restrict Federer from retaining the title at the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000.
"I think the clear favourite is going to be Roger Federer and how good he's going to be feeling coming into Indian Wells with a lot of the other guys still out," Parmar said on the ATP Tennis podcast, as quoted by the Express.
"There's just a whole group of players below that, the second pack, and any one of those guys can perhaps reach the final.
"I think if Anderson is fit and healthy, no-one really likes playing him because he's very awkward especially in those conditions.
"It's a very slow surface but it's almost like altitude-like conditions because the ball just zips through the air so quickly so with his serve and that transition from the baseline to the net is getting better and better. He's tough to deal with when he's fit and healthy."
Another former tennis player and Sky Sports columnist Mark Petchey has echoed comments made by Parmar.
"Neville Godwin has done a fantastic job [prior to their parting of ways] with Kevin, who is an incredibly hard-working and determined character in terms of getting the most out of himself. He deserves a lot of the credit as does Neville in terms of how much he has improved as a player," Petchey told Sky Sports.
"His game, in terms of his volleying and willingness to come in, has been crucial in terms of him breaking into the top 10. Another underlying factor is confidence. Having a single digit next to his name is going to make him feel even more invincible against the majority of the tour.
"He has got a new coach in Brad Stine, who has done good work in the past and is trying to introduce a few new facets to his game.
"He has such a big game because he returns hard - on his bad days he doesn't make enough returns, but the majority of time you feel under pressure even when you are serving against him because he is taking such a big swing at the return that you don't get too much respite and rhythm.
"His serve is also one of the best out there. You have got to have something pretty special when you go out on court against Roger - otherwise you are not going to stand a chance and those two players right now certainly have enough in their game and confidence to take him on if they were to meet."