Paula Badosa Indian Wells Masters 2021

Emma Raducanu could face idol Simona Halep as Indian Wells Masters WTA draw announced

The draw for the WTA Indian Wells Masters 2022 throws up some intriguing matches in the early rounds.

Despite the absence of World number one Ash Barty, who was fresh off the back of a home Australian Open victory, there are a number of matches to keep an eye on.

The most notable match up of the opening round sees 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens come up against four-time Grand Slam winner and two-time Flushing Meadows titlist Naomi Osaka.

British US Open champion Emma Raducanu is the 11th seeded player and as such has received a bye into the next round.

The 19-year-old British starlet could face Lyon Open finalist and 21-year-old Ukrainian refugee Dayana Yastremska, who was forced to flee her native Ukraine after spending two nights in underground car parks to avoid Russian bombing.

Another fascinating tie sees 18th seed and US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez potentially face Australian Open fourth rounder Amanda Anisimova.

On reaching the latter stages of the tournament, Raducanu has the potential to set up a tie with idol Simona Halep in the quarter-finals.

Raducanu would have to beat World number eight Karolina Pliskova whilst Halep would likely have to get past Australian Open quarter-finalist Alize Cornet after World number two Barbora Krejcikova’s withdrawal.

Whilst defending champion Badosa could potentially face one of either Osaka or Anett Kontaveit in the quarter-finals if she beats either Fernandez or Jelena Ostapenko.

2020 French Open victor and World number four Iga Swiatek and World number nine and two-time slam ace Garbine Muguruza find themselves in the same quarter, alongside three-time Slam icon Angelique Kerber, Daria Kasatkina, Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina.

Meanwhile, World number six Maria Sakkari and World number three Aryna Sabalenka, who will be playing under a neutral flag as per rulings set by tennis’ governing bodies, share a quarter with Victoria Azarenka and Ons Jabeur.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.