The battle at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden has already begun, a quest for the beautiful Baccarat trophy. Monday afternoon, the WTA main draw ceremony took place in Stadium 1 Plaza.
BNP Paribas Open women’s singles draw highlights
Let’s start with the list of Grand Slam champions in the main draw: Victoria Azarenka, Bianca Andreescu, wildcard Kim Clijsters, Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Barbora Krejcikova, Petra Kvitova, Garbine Muguruza, Jelena Ostapenko, Sloane Stephens, Iga Swiatek, and British teen Emma Raducanu.
Main draw wildcards were given to Americans: Catherine McNally, Claire Liu, Katie Volynets, Katrian Scott and 2020 Orange Bowl Junior champion, Ashlyn Krueger. They are joined by French teen Elsa Jacquemot who has made two Roland Garros appearances.
As the top seed, Pliskova has the experience and weapons to finish well at this WTA 1000 event. The former world No.1 has reached the final at Wimbledon and quarterfinals at the US Open. The Czech was a finalist at the 2016 US Open. She has the experience on big stages, can play under pressure, and possesses a killer serve.
Pliskova will play her first match against either Catherine McNally or Zheng Saisai. The 29-year-old’s quarter contains heavy hitters with a two-time Grand Slam semifinalist Maria Sakkari and the defending champion (2019) Bianca Andreescu. This quarter literally packs a punch.
The 20-year-old Swiatek played at the BNP Paribas Open in 2019 where she lost in the second round of qualies. Now a Grand Slam champion, the world No.4 from Poland has a real opportunity to take advantage of her position. She has a well-developed all-court game. Her quarter includes notables: US Open finalist Leyla Fernandez, world No.13 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and rankings-climber Elena Rybakina.
This year teenagers have been stealing the show at the BNP Paribas Open. The 2021 US Open champion, Raducanu is one to watch. The 18-year-old won her first major from qualies, without dropping a set — a legendary feat. Time and continued hard work will write her career legacy in the years to come.
In the desert, she is a wildcard due to her pre-US Open ranking of 150 at the time of the entry deadline. The 17th-seeded Brit will face either Aliaksandra Sasnovich or Maria Camila Osorio Serrano. Should Raducanu get past the second round, she could face 2015 BNP Paribas Open champion, Simona Halep.
On Monday, qualifying schedule was jam-packed with twenty-four matches. This year qualifying rounds contain some familiar names: Coco Vandeweghe, Kirsten Flipkens, Caroline Dolehide, Kristina Kucova, Asia Muhammad and Sachia Vickery. Of that pack, Dolehide and Kucova have advanced to the second round. Qualifying wraps up on Tuesday, with winners advancing into the main draw.
Event Particulars (Pacific Time Zone)
- Main draw play start – Wednesday, October 6
- Gates open 10:00 am
- Day session starts 11:00 am (Exception is Final Sunday, October 17, where matches begin at 1 pm)
- Evening session starts 6:00 pm
- In the United States, the event will be broadcast on Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Plus.
Lastly, for those who are planners like me, the BNP Paribas Open will assume its rightful place in the tour calendar, March 7-20, 2022. My calendar is already blocked. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.