BNP PARIBAS OPEN
Indian Wells, Calif., USA; Surface: Hard
Seeds: Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Eugenie Bouchard, Agnieszka Radwanska, Ekaterina Makarova, Andrea Petkovic, Lucie Safarova, Sara Errani, Carla Suarez Navarro, Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova, Flavia Pennetta, Madison Keys, Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova, Jelena Jankovic, Garbine Muguruza, Alize Cornet, Samantha Stosur, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Elina Svitolina, Sabine Lisicki, Caroline Garcia, Varvara Lepchenko, Timea Bacsinszky, Zarina Diyas, Camila Giorgi, Coco Vandeweghe, Belinda Bencic, Victoria Azarenka
Floaters: Julia “Gorgeous” Goerges, Heather Watson, Daniela Hantuchova, Vera Zvonareva, Francesca Schiavone
Do we need 32 seeds after getting at least half a week off or more for all players?
Not a lot of early-round challenges with the 32 seeds. No. 29 Camila Giorgi will start against either Goerges or Watson; No. 16 Keys could open against the veteran Hantuchova; No. 25 Caroline Garcia could meet Russian veteran Vera Zvonareva; and No. 11 Errani vs. Schiavone could be a delicious all-Italian opener.
The world No. 1 Williams is playing the event for the first time in 14 years when the Williams family declared all of Indian Wells racist. She won in that last appearance in 2001, beating Kim Clijsters in the final.
Wildcards went to Americans Louisa Chirico, Irina Falconi, Nicole Gibbs, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Grace Min, former world No. 1 junior Taylor Townsend, Sachia Vickery, and Serena Williams.
Notable withdrawals from the tournament were Dominika Cibulkova (Achilles surgery), Petra Kvitova (exhaustion), and Brit Laura Robson.
Serena prior to the tournament split from long-time hitting partner Sascha Bajin, who she had previously called the most important person on her team.
All the hubbub surrounds Serena, but Venus is not ending her boycott since last playing in 2001. “I made my schedule up,” Venus said about missing IW again. “I’m entered in Miami, and that’s pretty much what it is. I haven’t really given a lot of thought to it. I have just been focusing on this year…I just respect every decision [Serena] makes, pretty much. It’s nothing complicated about it.”
Cushy draw for Serena. Likely QF round match-ups: (1) Serena vs. (8) Makarova, (3) Halep vs. (7) Radwanska, (4) Wozniacki vs. (6) Bouchard, (2) Sharapova vs. (5) Ivanovic.
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