A packed Friday waits for us in Indian Wells. Garbine Muguruza will open her campaign in the tournament against Lauren Davis, followed by Sloane Stephens opposite to Stefanie Voegele. The meeting between Taylor Fritz and Steve Johnson, an all American clash, will close the day session.
At night Serena Williams faces Victoria Azarenka, who has already one win under her belt having beaten Vera Lapko in the first round. The 23-time Grand Slam winner leads head to head meetings 17-4, she won their first match in 2008 Wimbledon.
Azarenka defeated Serena in 2009 Miami, 2013 Doha and Cincinnati, 2016 Indian Wells. All of them were championship clashes. Nicolas Jarry and Frances Tiafoe will close the session. On Stadium 2 Tomas Berdych faces Feliciano Lopez.
The Czech player is back in a good shape this year after a six-month break due to a back injury, while Lopez is struggling a lot. The 2017 finalist Stan Wawrinka will then play against the qualifier Dan Evans. They faced each other in the 2016 US Open third round with the Swiss saving a match point, winning in four sets and then going on to conquer the title.
Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina are also on the schedule. Paul Annacone feels confident about Serena Williams's chances at the BNP Paribas Open. The American player will start her campaign against Victoria Azarenka, then she could meet Garbine Muguruza, Kiki Bertens and many other good players.
The former Roger Federer'a coach said: "She is so good. She takes one little step back and she gets all her confidence back. This is a good opportunity for her to play well again. She has a brutal draw providing that all the favorites go through.
But anyone who can get through all these players is Serena because Serena, at her best, I think she is still the best. I think she is gonna get there (far in the tournament) and we have to think on the other side, Oh, I am going to play Serena."