Indian Wells 2021 WTA singles draw breakdown – Plenty top matchups despite withdrawals
The WTA tour returns to Indian Wells, California for the first time since 2019. With a number of top ranked players out for the count, how is the women’s draw shaping up in the desert?
2018 winner and four-time Slam champion Naomi Osaka is not taking part, and neither is world number one Ashleigh Barty. Aryna Sabalenka has been forced to forego the event due to contracting Covid-19 too.
But with plenty of top talent fighting for their shot at the WTA 1000 title, here’s a closer look at the draw for the women’s singles event.
Make sure you check out our tournament preview for the 2021 BNP Paribas Open too.
96 players will compete for the trophy at the 2021 WTA 1000 BNP Paribas Open. Of those players, the top 32 will be seeded, with those seedings outlined below.
Each seeded player automatically receives a bye into the second round of the tournament.
US Open champion Emma Raducanu is on course to face former world number one and 11th seed Simona Halep should both women make the third round.
Down the line, there is the possibility of a US Open final rematch between Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez. The two would meet in the semi-finals should they both reach that stage of the tournament.
But before that, Raducanu would likely need to overcome seventh seed Petra Kvitova in the fourth round, plus potentially fourth seed and US Open semi-finalist Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals.
Fernandez will collide with Roland Garros runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova if each makes the third round, with Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic likely to be the victor’s fourth round opponent.
Second seed Iga Swiatek could lie in wait for whoever comes through that section of the draw to reach the quarter-finals.
Top seed Karolina Pliskova will likely face 2020 Roland Garros semi-finalist Nadia Podoroska in the third round, while she could face defending champion Bianca Andreescu in the fourth round.
Multiple Slam champions Garbine Muguruza and Angelique Kerber will meet in the fourth round should both women make that round of the tournament.
Coco Gauff is set to take on Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova in the fourth round.
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