Roger Federer addressed the media in Indian Wells. Getty

Roger Federer has a slim 600-point advantage on Rafael Nadal in the ATP rankings, which means the upcoming BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, will carry additional weight for the Swiss star.

Federer, who is the defending champion of the tournament, will need to reach the semifinals to maintain his top ranking against Nadal. The Spaniard, meanwhile, has not played a competitive match since January.

Last month, Federer overtook Nadal atop the rankings. Federer is the all-time leader in total number of weeks at No. 1 with 305 and 19 more than No. 2 Pete Sampras.

There's a very good chance that Federer will reach the semifinals, as oddsmakers list him as the tournament's clear favorite. Federer has 11/10 odds to win at Indian Wells, according to betting site Bet Fred, and is followed by Novak Djokovic (7/1) and Juan Martin del Potro (8/1).

Djokovic won the tournament three consecutive times before Federer captured the title in 2017. Should Djokovic and Federer meet at Indian Wells, it would be in the final. Dominic Thiem or Tomas Berdych likely have the best chance of denying Federer a trip to the final.

Federer has been on a hot streak in 2018. The 36-year-old not only has a stellar 12-0 record after winning the Australian Open and the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, but he has surrendered just three total sets.

The Round of 64 at Indian Wells got underway Saturday. Federer's first match will be Saturday night against 27-year-old Federico Delbonis of Argentina.

Rafael Nadal only trails Roger Federer by 600 points in the ATP rankings. Getty