The Sunshine Double is up and running with Monday’s release of the BNP Paribas Open draw.
Main-draw play at the WTA 1000 event in Indian Wells starts on Wednesday, March 8, with World No.1 and defending champion Iga Swiatek leading the field. Swiatek’s run to the title last year was part of her 37-match winning streak, the longest of the 2000s.
First quarter: Swiatek sits at the top of the draw as the No.1 seed. Like all of the 32 seeded players, Swiatek has received a first-round bye. She will play the winner of the first-round match between Claire Liu and Alison van Uytvanck.
Two of the four former Indian Wells champions in the field could face off in the third round, with No.32 seed and 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu as a potential opponent for Swiatek.
No.5 seed Caroline Garcia is the other Top 10 seed in the first quarter. Also in this quarter are 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu, No.12 Liudmila Samsonova, No.13 Beatriz Haddad Maia, No.19 Madison Keys, No.20 Magda Linette, No.30 Leylah Fernandez and Danielle Collins.
Second quarter: No.4 seed Ons Jabeur heads up the second quarter. Jabeur, who withdrew from the entire Middle East swing with an injury, will play her first match since the Australian Open against either Maryna Zanevska or Lauren Davis in the second round.
No.8 seed Daria Kasatkina and No.10 seed Elena Rybakina could meet in the Round of 16. Kasatkina was the Indian Wells runner-up to Naomi Osaka in 2018.
Read more: Breaking down the top seeds at Indian Wells 2023
Reigning Wimbledon champion Rybakina is guaranteed to face another Grand Slam champion in the second round — either Sloane Stephens or Sofia Kenin.
Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion, and Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, will square off in an all-American first-round match. In their only previous meeting at Toronto last year, Stephens won 7-5 in the third set.
The two other former Indian Wells champions in the field, Victoria Azarenka and Paula Badosa, are in this quarter. No.14 Azarenka, the titlist in 2012 and 2016, could potentially meet Jabeur in the Round of 16.
No.21 Badosa, who defeated Azarenka in the 2021 Indian Wells final, is a possible third-round opponent for either Rybakina, Stephens or Kenin.
Third quarter: No.3 seed Jessica Pegula, the top-ranked American, leads the third quarter. Pegula could face Camila Giorgi, who won the Merida title two weeks ago, in the second round — that would be a rematch of the 2019 Washington D.C. final, which Pegula won.
Read more: Indian Wells 2023: Dates, draws, prize money and everything you need to know
The other Top 10 seed in this quarter is No.7 Maria Sakkari, who was runner-up to Swiatek at Indian Wells last year. Sakkari will face the winner of an all-American tussle between Shelby Rogers and Katie Volynets in the second round.
Also in this quarter are No.11 Veronika Kudermetova, No.15 Petra Kvitova, former World No.1 Karolina Pliskova, 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko, surging American Alycia Parks and rising teen Linda Fruhvirtova.
Fourth quarter: This year’s Australian Open champion, Aryna Sabalenka, rests at the bottom of the draw as the No.2 seed. She will face either Alizé Cornet or Evgeniya Rodina in the second round.
Sabalenka started the year with a 13-match winning streak before suffering her first loss of the season to eventual champion Barbora Krejcikova in Dubai. Sabalenka and No.16 Krejcikova could have a rematch in the Round of 16 if they both hold their seeds.
Before that, Sabalenka could face No.29 Donna Vekic in the third round. Vekic just won her fourth career title in Monterrey on Sunday, and she holds a 5-2 head-to-head lead over Sabalenka.
Also in the bottom quarter, No.6 Coco Gauff and No.9 Belinda Bencic might be headed for a showdown in the Round of 16. Gauff picked up her third career title in Auckland in January, while Bencic has already won two titles this year, in Adelaide and Abu Dhabi.
Looming in Bencic’s portion of the draw is Marta Kostyuk, who has risen to a career-high World No.40 after winning her first title in Austin on Sunday.
The BNP Paribas Open kicks off two straight WTA 1000 events in the United States. The Miami Open will follow with a main-draw start date of Tuesday, March 21.