By: Brenden Campbell

After what is a usually a quiet February on tour for the game’s biggest stars, March marks the beginning of one of the most important stretches of the year, with back to back masters/premier level tournaments in the United States. We begin a busy month of tennis by breaking the down the Women’s draw at the BNP Paribas Open held in Indian Wells, California.

Top Seeds

  1. Simona Halep
  2. Caroline Wozniacki
  3. Garbine Muguruza
  4. Elina Svitolina
  5. Karolina Pliskova
  6. Jelena Ostapenko
  7. Caroline Garcia
  8. Venus Williams

Draw Analysis

It is safe to say that Indian Wells has crafted the most intriguing WTA draw of 2018 thus far. The first week of the tournament will be nothing short of exciting, with a plethora of great matches scheduled for the early rounds. Former champions Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Victoria Azarenka all return to tour this week and enter the draw unseeded. This could create early round chaos for the top seeds. Serena will potentially meet Venus in the 3rd round, and Sharapova and Azarenka could play seeded players as early as round 2.

World #3 Garbine Muguruza headlines the toughest quarter of the draw, and will be tested early. The Spaniard will have to navigate multiple tough opponents to punch her ticket into the quarterfinals. Her path includes a potential 2nd round clash with Canadian wildcard Eugenie Bouchard, followed by either Sharapova or #31 Agnieszka Radwanska before even reaching the round of 16.

1st Round Matches to Watch

Maria Sharapova vs. Naomi Osaka

Serena Williams vs. Zarina Diyas

Samantha Stosur vs. Lauren Davis

 

Championship Prediction

Simona Halep def. Caroline Wozniacki in three sets