The women’s singles main draw for the 2022 BNP Paribas Open has been unveiled, and it features several key matchups of perennial stars, including defending champion Paula Badosa, 2018 champion Naomi Osaka, as well as rising American Coco Gauff and the 2022 juggernauts Jelena Ostapenko and Iga Swiatek.

As the ink on the sheet dries, let’s take a look at five players who are aiming for a deep run this year at Tennis Paradise. But first: a look at this year’s potential women’s singles quarterfinals (if the seeds hold)…

Naomi Osaka

Seen training on the court and taking selfies with her French Bulldog Butta, 2018 champion Naomi Osaka looks to be in the perfect headspace to rekindle the magic that brought her to a breakout title in 2018. Osaka, now a four-time Grand Slam champion, won her first WTA singles title at Indian Wells at age 20, when she ranked No. 44 in the WTA rankings.

This year, she hopes to announce herself as a contender for the title despite the 78 rank next to her name. Despite only playing two events since last year’s US Open, Osaka showed signs of returning to top form in January when she claimed five straight wins before falling to Amanda. Anisimova in the third round of the Australian Open.

She’ll open her bid for a second title with a blockbuster opener against Sloane Stephens, and next face No. 21 seed Veronika Kudermetova. seeded No. 14 Jessica Pegula in the third round, seeded No. 4 Anett Konteveit in the round of 16 and seeded No. 5 Paula Badosa in the quarterfinals, if the seeds hold.

Paula Badosa

Last October, Badosa made Indian Wells her personal tennis paradise by becoming the first Spaniard to win the prestigious BNP Paribas Open title. In 2022, the 24-year-old will seek to become the first woman to successfully defend her title in the California desert since Martina Navratilova in 1991, just five months after winning the longest women’s final in tournament history against Victoria Azarenka. .

Sunday October 17, 2021 – Paula Badosa and Victoria Azarenka play in the women’s final match in Stage 1 on Day 14 of the 2021 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, CA. (Jared Wickerham/Open BNP Paribas)

Badosa, who is 9-4 this season so far, is expected to face Czech Republic’s Tereza Martincova or a second-round qualifier. The No. 5 seed, who would face 32nd seed Sara Sorribes Tormo in the third round if the seeds hold, finds himself in a busy quarter-table that also includes Osaka, Kontaveit, the No. 10 seed Ostapenko and No. 18-seeded Leylah Fernandez.

Iga Swiatek

The 2020 French Open champion is playing fiery tennis in 2022 – and back to her career-best ranking of world No. 4 with a 14-3 record under her belt. Swiatek, 20, is riding a five-fight winning streak in her second main draw appearance in Indian Wells, and will be very confident after reaching the Australian Open semi-finals before lifting the title in Doha on last month, where she knocked out three. top 10 players in succession as she won her fourth career title.

Third seed Swiatek will face France’s Clara Burel or Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina in the second round, and is looking forward to a showdown with Danish teenager Clara Tauson, the No. 29 seed, in the third round. His potential quarter-final opponent is the No. 8 seed Garbiñe Muguruza.

Coco Gauff

The top-ranked American in the women’s singles chart, 17-year-old Gauff may be best equipped to end the 20-year drought to the U.S. singles title in the Coachella Valley. Serena Williams and Andre Agassi each lifted trophies at Indian Wells in 2001, scoring America’s last two triumphs. Another former champion, two-time winner Lindsay Davenport, thinks Gauff could be next.

Saturday, October 9, 2021 – Caroline Garcia and Coco Gauff compete in a Round 2 match at Stage 1 on Day 6 of the 2021 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, CA. (Abbie Parr/BNP Paribas Open)

“I feel like something is going to happen very soon for her here,” Davenport said last week on a conference call to promote Tennis Channel coverage of the tournament. “She’s worked too hard, she’s too good for that not to happen. Coco Gauff is going to break through at a very big event very soon.

Sitting in the top quarter of the draw, Gauff will face either American Claire Liu or a second-round qualifier. Things will get complicated quickly for the No. 16 seed – a third-round clash with 2015 BNP Paribas Open champion Simona Halep is in sight.

Jelena Ostapenko

Don’t look now, but Ostapenko is closing in on the top 10 for the first time since September 2018 after a torrid start to 2022. A semi-finalist here last year, the 24-year-old knocked out No. ° 2. In the process. At 14-4 on the season, the explosive Latvian is looking to wreak more havoc on the draw in 2022, and she’s playing well enough to do so. She recently picked up nine straight wins that took her to the title in Dubai and a semi-final in Doha.

Ostapenko, seeded tenth, will face American Shelby Rogers or Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the second round after a bye, and could face Canadian Fernandez or Amanda Anisimova in the third round.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 – Jelena Ostapenko celebrates after defeating Shelby Rogers on day 10 of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, CA. (Michael Cummo/BNP Paribas Open)