Heading into Indian Wells, which starts Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN3 and the ESPN app, here's a look at the state of the Big Four:
No. 1 seed Andy Murray
Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.
That's Shakespeare from "Henry IV, Part II," and in the case of Murray, he's been sort of scuffling since he entered the new year with the No. 1 ranking.
He reached the final in Doha, but lost there to No. 2 Novak Djokovic. Then he exited in the fourth round of the Australian Open, beaten by journeyman Mischa Zverev. After two routine wins in Dubai, Murray was challenged by another German, Philipp Kohlschreiber.
All he had to do to win that quarterfinal match was save seven match points in the second set and win a tiebreaker 20-18. Murray won the last set 6-1, but the effort required nearly three hours and underlined how difficult life can be at the top.
The good news for Murray is that he managed to take the title in Dubai, beating Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-2 in the final. It took only 73 minutes and was his fourth straight title in ATP World Tour 500 events.
"Maybe today it could have been a bit of nerves," Murray said afterward. "Sometimes in a final there is a bit more pressure. I defended pretty well and moved well. It was obviously good to win the first  tournament here."
Murray's track record at Indian Wells isn't great. He lost a third-round match a year ago and has never won. In 11 previous appearances his best effort is the 2009 final, when he won only three games against Nadal.
No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic
Before the recent tournament in Acapulco, Mexico, Djokovic sat down with reporters and talked about the tough times that have dogged him since he won Roland Garros last year.
"For me, it's essential to have the joy of playing, the love and passion for the sport," Djokovic said. "If I don't have the passion it's hard for me to play, to do anything in life."
Presumably, Djokovic wasn't feeling the joy when he encountered some personal issues and failed to win at either Wimbledon or the US Open. And then he got bounced in the second round of the Australian Open, memorably, by Denis Istomin.
"In the last six seven months I did go through some ups and downs, through a phase of my life when I experienced some oscillations and not as good results as the past three, four years," he said. "But it's life, it's sport. I'm a human being like anybody else, and I'm prone to make mistakes. I guess that's what life is giving you as a test in a way to become stronger to learn more about yourself .
"All in all, I feel I'm in a much better state of mind than maybe I was the end of last year."
Justin Gimelstob, who will be part of Tennis Channel's Indian Wells coverage, doesn't sound too concerned.
"I wouldn't spend a lot of time worrying about Novak Djokovic," he said. "He has dominated Indian Wells and Miami. I believe he's going to recalibrate and we'll see him at or near the top for many years to come."
No. 6 Rafael Nadal
There were some who wondered if Rafa -- who crossed into his fourth decade at last year's French Open -- was done winning Slams.
Well, those six wins in Melbourne might have forced the skeptics to rethink their position. Nadal took out Alexander Zverev, Gael Monfils, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov -- to get to the final. He was ahead of Federer 3-1, but collapsed, losing the last five games. Going forward, though, the fortnight's accomplishments bode well.
Nadal, who won nine of 10 titles at Roland Garros from 2005 to '14, would love to get his 10th this spring in Paris.
"He's bummed he didn't win in Australia, because the opportunity was there," said Brad Gilbert, an ESPN analyst. "He's playing better. All of a sudden, he's finding his game. We're not going to know more until we see him in the run-up to the French."
Nadal fell in the Acapulco final to Sam Querrey, but he will take some confidence from his week in Mexico. He's a three-time champion in Indian Wells and is a sporty 12-3 for the season.
No. 10 seed Roger Federer
It's a small sample -- nine matches -- but there are two vastly different results to ponder.
The first came in Australia with that epic comeback against Nadal that gave the 35-year-old Federer his 18th Grand Slam singles title.
"Did you see that backhand?" Pam Shriver, another ESPN analyst, asked rhetorically. "I think watching Wawrinka's backhand had a huge influence on how he went after it. Federer's like the pitcher who knows he has to adjust when he doesn't have the big fastball. 'I've got to be aggressive with my backhand.' All that confidence we've seen with serve and forehand and movement -- it was finally there with the backhand."
However, in Federer's second match a week ago in Dubai, he was stunned by Russian qualifier Evgeny Donskoy in a third-set tiebreaker. And it was the way Federer lost that was troubling. He wasted three match points in the second set, was up 5-2 in the third and served for the match at 5-4. Oh, after racing out to a 5-1 lead in the tiebreaker, he lost six straight points.
"Maybe I wasn't really committed enough, I think," he said afterward. "Commitment in tennis is a big thing. Today I wasn't, really. That sort of is a feeling you get and it trickles in an entire game."
Like Pete Sampras late in his career, Federer clearly has difficulty getting up for the not-so-big matches. We've seen this in recent years, and it's probably not going to stop.
Here's thing to remember, Fed fans: It's early March, and he's 8-1 for the season. And, he says, the groin injury that visited him Down Under, has cleared up.
"I just think it's still the beginning of the comeback," Federer said to reporters in Dubai. "I got to take the positives out of playing again in a tournament where I feel I'm quite healthy."