The winner will face 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in round two.
Nadal, 30, is seeking to win the event for 10th time, which would also be his 50th clay-court title.
World number one Andy Murray returns after an elbow injury and has a bye into the second round to face Gilles Muller or wildcard Tommy Robredo.
Murray lost to qualifier Vasek Pospisil in the second round at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells last month.
The 29-year-old withdrew from the Miami Open the following week because of an injury to his right elbow but played a charity exhibition match against Roger Federer in Switzerland on Monday. - BBC -