BNP Paribas Open 2023 is underway. While the qualifying stage for both the WTA and ATP competitions is in progress, the shape of Indian Wells main draws are already revealed after the ceremony which took place on Monday's afternoon.
Iga Swiatek will start her title defence from second round, as all the top 32 ranked players are seeded in the draw and get bye in opening round. Swiatek will start her Sunshine Double campaign from the match against the winner of R1 match-up between Claire Liu and Alison Van Uytvanck. First seeded player who can meet Swiatek in R3 is Bianca Andreescu. The Canadian - Indian Wells champion from 2019, will meet Peyton Stearns or qualifier in second round.
There are some exciting potential match-ups between seeds and top notch players, who are unseeded and need to overcome the first round to set up the top clashes of second round. Caroline Garcia waits for possible hit clash against Danielle Collins. The American won the last meeting with Garcia, defeating her in straight sets in last year's WTA 500 event in San Diego. "Danimal" needs to defeat Tamara Korpatsch first, being a strong favorite in the match against German.
Marie Bouzkova can meet her fellowcountry Marketa Vondrousova, who started year really well and climb up through the ranking after coming back from injury. Vondrousova will play against Rebecca Marino in first round. Victoria Azarenka will be tested by the winner of very interesting and unpredictable match between Yulia Putintseva and Karolina Muchova - definitely one of the best matchups of round one.
The most thrilling matchup of round one is for sure the match between two Grand Slam champions from US - Sloane Stephens will face Sofia Kenin in the hit match of round one. Both players are looking forward to comeback into their top form. Kenin is still trying to find herself back into the pack, utilizing the wild cards for the biggest tournaments. It is tough challenge so far, as Kenin is ranked as low as 170th in WTA list, but the American managed to win 5 matches in 2023 so far, with the WTA 250 Hobart semifinal appearance as the highlight. Stephens started season really poor, but managed to reach the quarterfinals twice in Merida and Austin during last two weeks. The better of Americans will face a big challenge in second round, facing the current Australian Open finalist - Elena Rybakina.
The bottom half offers another interesting all-American first round between Shelby Rogers and last week's ATX Open semifinalist - Katie Volynets. The winner will play Maria Sakkari in next round. Jessica Pegula - the top American, seeded with #3, can meet Camila Giorgi, if the Merida Open champion wins her R1 match against the qualifier.
Aryna Sabalenka will start her Indian Wells campaign against the winner of match between Alize Cornet and Evgeniya Rodina. The Australian Open champion will be motivated to achieve the best possible results in Sunshine Double. Sabalenka does not hide her ambitions to become the WTA ranking leader this year. Being successful in Indian Wells and Miami may bring her closer to achieving that goal. Iga Swiatek has still a huge of 3495 points, but the Pole will defend 2000 points in the upcoming swing, as she won both the Sunshine Double tourneys last year. The draw is not very comfortable for Belarusian though. She can face Donna Vekic in potential third round clash. The Croatian, who won WTA 500 tournament in Monterrey last week, has an impressive record of 14 wins and just 2 losses in 2023 so far. Barbora Krejcikova can be another great opponent to be faced by Sabalenka, as early as in round of 16. The Czech is the only one who beat her in this season, and followed the blow by winning whole the WTA 1000 in Dubai, with a dominant final victory against Swiatek. The last quarter of the draw is possibly the strongest, with Belinda Bencic and Coco Gauff as another names here, who started the season in an impressive style.
Top half of ATP main draw contains the top seed Carlos Alcaraz, who is the #1 in the absence of world ranking's leader Novak Djokovic. The Spaniard can overtake "Nole" just in case of winning the whole BNP Paribas Open. All the ATP fans will be interested, if Alcaraz will be fit enough after his injury issues, which prevented him from starting the season in Australia and appeared again during the comeback of Alcaraz in South-American clay swing. The first quarter is quite stacked, as Hubert Hurkacz can meet Tommy Paul in possible 3rd round top clash. Matchup between the current Australian Open semifinalist who reached the final of last week's ATP 500 in Acapulco and Hurkacz who always plays his best tennis in US tournaments could be a cracker. Felix Auger Aliassime is also there and can face Paul or Hurkacz in R16. Alcaraz can expect to need some effort to overcome one of those players in possible quarterfinal clash.
Taylor Fritz will headline second quarter as the title holder after winning BNP Paribas Open 2022. The top ranked American will meet the winner of match between the exciting US youngster Ben Shelton and experienced, eccentric Fabio Fognini in second round. The last week's title holder from Acapulco - Alex De Minaur, can be the possible opponent in R16 for Fritz. Jannik Sinner will comeback to action after his succesful European indoor campaign. Sinner can line-up the interesting all-Italian matchup with Lorenzo Musetti in round three and fight an exciting duel against Holger Rune for the place in quarterfinals.
Third quarter is headlined by Daniil Medvedev. Former world's ranking leader can be considered as a pre-tournament favorite while being on fire, winning 3 tournaments in 3 weeks with 14 match victories in a row strike, including the dominant win against Djokovic in last week's ATP 500 Dubai. Medvedev can meet Alexander Zverev in 4th round. The matches between them were always a top class tennis spectacles, when both players where close to the top of ATP ranking list. The German showed some signs of coming back to good form in Dubai, advancing to semifinal. Casper Ruud, seeded with #3, has quite a formidable draw up until the possible QF matchup with Medvedev. It is a good opportunity for the Norwegian to regain some confidence after disappointing start of the season.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is the top name in last quarter. The Greek can meet Gael Monfils in second round. Experienced Frenchman is coming back to action with a protected ranking. Monfils will play against Jordan Thompson in first round. Tsitsipas can face Andrey Rublev in quarterfinals. It can be a subtext matchup after the words said by Tsitsipas during last year's ATP finals, when the Greek told that Rublev does not have the variety of tennis tools on the level of top class player.