Former No. 1s Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka all unseeded?
It will be anarchy in the desert this week at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, where all the top players are in attendance, including the comeback queens who used to top the charts.
Serena vs. Venus third round? Stay tuned.
Here’s a look at the four sections of the draw:
Top 4 Seeds: (1) Simona Halep, (6) Jelena Ostapenko, (11) Johanna Konta, (14) Kristina Mladenovic
Floaters: (22) Elise Mertens
Notes: Tame quarter with few floaters but lots of also-rans and players trying to get back from injury like Dominika Cibulkova, Timea Bacsinszky, Sam Stosur, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Belina Bencic…Should be cruise control for Halep to the quarters.
Top 4 Seeds: (3) Garbina Muguruza, (5) Karolina Pliskova, (9) Petra Kvitova, (16) Ashleigh Barty
Floaters: Genie Bouchard, Naomi Osaka, Maria Sharapova, (31) Aggie Radwanska, (17) CoCo Vandeweghe
Notes: This is a group of death, with tough openers including (3) Muguruza vs. Bouchard, and Sharapova vs. Osaka (winner to meet (31) Radwanska)…If Sharapova could get through two tough matches she would meet (3) Muguruza…(5) Pliskova vs. (9) Kvitova looming 4th rd…This quarter will be an upset-ridden toss-up.
Top 4 Seeds: (4) Elina Svitolina, (8) Venus Williams, (12) Julia Goerges, (15) Madison Keys
Floaters: Serena Williams, Zarina Diyas, Mona Barthel
Notes: The GOAT Serena Williams is unseeded, but it remains seen if she is in better shape that her comeback Fed Cup doubles debacle…If Serena gets by Ziyas she would face (29) Kiki Bertens then sister (8) Venus…(4) Svitolina starts against Barthel who she has lost to on hardcourts…Is (15) Madison Keys over her wrist issues?…If Svitolina can get out of the first round she has a relatively nice path to the quarters.
Top 4 Seeds: (2) Caroline Wozniacki, (7) Caroline Garcia, (10) Angie Kerber, (13) Sloane Stephens
Floaters: (26) Daria Gavrilova, (20) Daria Kasatkina, (28) Anett Kontaveit, Ekaterina Makarova, Victoria Azarenka
Notes: The former No. 1 Azarenka returns to the tour after family issues, starting against Brit Heather Watson, with (13) Stephens waiting next round in a very winnable match…(10) Kerber looking at a tough start against the powerful Makarova…(2) Wozniacki will start against the winner of Lesia Tsurenko, who has a tournament title under her belt this year, and qualifier Lara Arruabarrena…Can Woz and Kerber tough it out for a quarterfinal meeting?
Wildcards were awarded to Azarenka, Bouchard, Russian Sofia Zhuk, and Americans Amanda Anisimova, Danielle Collins, Kayla Day, Caroline Dolehide and Claire Liu.
Withdrawing from the tournament were Margarita Gasparyan, Camila Giorgi, Ana Konjuh, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Peng Shuai, Lucie Safarova and Laura Siegemund.
Elena Vesnina beat Svetlana Kuznetsova in last year’s all-Russian seat-emptying final.
Former champions in the field are Vesnina (2017), Azarenka (2016,’12), Halep (2015), Sharapova (2013,’06), Wozniacki (2011), Vera Zvonareva (2009), and Serena Williams (2001,’99).
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