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Nishikori, Kyrgios and the outsiders hoping to succeed at Indian Wells

Roger Federer, who missed last year's event in Indian Wells, last won in the desert five years ago. STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

We're waiting on you, Grigor Dimitrov.

Yeah, and you, too, Kei Nishikori, Nick Kyrgios and even 19-year-old Alexander Zverev -- it's time to step up and win next week in Indian Wells.

The best and the brightest of the next generation in men's tennis, the aforementioned fab five, have gone a collective 0-for-158, failing to take even one ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.

Presumably, someday their day will come. But, as Juba tells Maximus in "Gladiator," not yet.

When David Goffin, who broke into the top 10 a few weeks ago, was asked for his BNP Paribas Open favorites, he did not hesitate: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

"But there are a lot of good players. It should be really open."

Don't bet on it.

While Federer and Djokovic struggled last week, Murray won the title in Dubai and Nadal reached the final in Acapulco.

This year's Australian Open final, featuring old rivals Federer and Nadal, went a long way to bringing the Big Four back into relevancy. They're all in the field at Indian Wells, which runs from Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN3 and the ESPN app to Sunday, March 19.

"Back before the Australian, I would have said it was impossible for anyone but two guys [Murray and Djokovic] to win," said Brad Gilbert, an ESPN analyst, who coached both Murray and Andre Agassi. "Obviously, that didn't happen.

"I'm not ready to say [Federer can return to his previous heights], but the complexion of the season has dramatically changed. Everybody has a different confidence level, based on what happened to Djokovic and Murray in Australia."

The Big Four that Goffin so quickly referenced -- coincidentally or not, in order of Slam success -- have monopolized the spoils of victory to a degree astonishing even by their ethereal standards. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray have won 47 of the past 55 Grand Slam singles titles, going back to Federer's first major, at Wimbledon in 2003. If you include Stan Wawrinka, the Big Five has won 50 of 55, a winning percentage of .909.

But their dominance, if you can believe it, is even more breathtaking in the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, the nine prestigious tournaments that offer 1,000 rankings points to the winner. Beginning with Nadal's victory at Monte Carlo nearly seven years ago, the Big Four has won 56 of 61 Masters titles, good (very, very good) for a winning percentage of .918.

It's worth taking a moment to commend the fearless five who broke through in that time: Robin Soderling (Paris, 2010), David Ferrer (Paris, 2011), Wawrinka (Monte Carlo, 2014), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Toronto, 2014), Marin Cilic (Cincinnati, 2016). Soderling is long since retired, Ferrer turns 35 and Tsonga 32 in April and Wawrinka celebrates his 32nd birthday later this month. Only Cilic, 28, is still in his prime time.

Here are your all-time Masters 1000 leaders with titles in parentheses: Djokovic (30), Nadal (28), Federer (24), Agassi (17) and Murray (14).

More same old, same old Big Four fun facts:

  • They've won 20 of 21 Masters (95 percent) going back to the 2014 Cincinnati event.

  • The numbers are 33-for-36 (92 percent), since the beginning of 2013.

  • Since Rafa's first Masters title in 2005 (when he won four straight), the Big Four has taken 92 of 108 events, a winning percentage of 85 -- over a period of one dozen years.

Pam Shriver, an ESPN analyst, thinks the final in Melbourne will energize each of the Big Four's members.

"Federer's kind of helping everybody by doing what he did," she said. "It's going to motivate them -- particularly Djokovic and Murray -- to get better. I think when Bjorn Borg retired [after the 1981 season], it took some steam out of Johnny [McEnroe]. I think he would have been a bigger force for longer if his rival had stayed around."

The Big Four don't have to worry about a lack of competition with each other. But there's still a question of how much they need to worry about anyone else.