Australian Open finalists Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova could meet again in the Indian Wells Open semi-finals, while Serena Williams might be in for a difficult journey as she bids to go the distance at the tournament again.
Osaka, the top seed, who won the Australian Open earlier this year to make it two Grand Slams in a row, begins her campaign with a second round match against either Kristina Mladenovic or Zheng Saisai. Danielle Collins could be her possible third round opponent while one of Caroline Wozniacki or Belinda Bencic could face her in round four.
The Japanese world number one has Karolina Pliskova, seeded fifth, in her path, as she tries to defend the title which kick-started her foray as one of the top players in the world before her potential match-up against Petra Kvitova in the semi-finals.
Third seeded Kvitova, on the other hand, could also have a toughie in her second round, as she takes on either Venus Williams or Andrea Petkovic. If she comes through the possible Williams test, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or Maria Sakkari could be awaiting and then Madison Keys or Julia Goerges could be her fourth round opponent.
In order to make it through to the semi-finals, Kvitova might have to overcome one of Aryna Sabalenka, Lesia Tsurenko, Carla Suarez Navarro or Angelique Kerber in her quarter-final.
The bottom half of the draw will have second seeded Simona Halep and fourth seeded Sloane Stephens favourites to reach the semis but with Serena Williams, Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens and Garbine Muguruza also in her draw, it could get very interesting.
Serena, seeded 10th, could have her own issues, as she possibly faces Victoria Azarenka in round two, and Muguruza in the third round.
Stephens’ first seeded opponent could be Dominika Cibulkova in the third round, before Elise Mertens or Wang Qiang await her in the fourth.
Svitolina and Ash Barty could be in for a delicious face-off for the fourth round while second seeded Halep will need to get past Aliaksandra Sasnovich in round three, and one of Jelena Ostapenko or Daria Kasatkina in the fourth to proceed forward.
Here’re the possible WTA Indian Wells Open fourth round match-ups:
- Osaka v Wozniacki
- Pliskova v Sevastova
- Kvitova v Goerges
- Kerber v Sabalenka
- Bertens v Serena
- Stephens v Mertens
- Barty v Svitolina
- Halep v Kasatkina