With the first serve of the final chapter in the second Oracle Challenger Series only hours away, let’s take a look at the WTA stars who will take the court this week in the desert. With 4 seeded Americans in the draw, alongside several top 100 players, the Road to Indian Wells hopes remain alive and as competitive as ever.
World No. 18, Wang Qiang of China is the top seeded player on the women’s side, making her Oracle Challenger Series debut in Indian Wells. Wang, who is after her third career title, will meet the winner of Lauren Davis vs. Natalia Vikhlyantseva in the second round. Currently leading the Road to Indian Wells leaderboard, World No. 197 Davis is sure to put her best game forward as she competes for more than prize money and ranking points, but a main draw wild card into the BNP Paribas Open.
World No. 51 Alison Riske, the highest ranked American woman in the Indian Wells draw, is the number 2 seed. Riske will face off against the winner of Fiona Ferro vs. Yanina Wickmayer in round 2. With her spot in the BNP Paribas Open secured, Riske will be playing for her second WTA career title.
Joining Riske on the bottom half of the draw are bellow Americans tenth seed Taylor Townsend and thirteenth seed Madison Brengle. While Townsend and Brengle sit a bit lower on the Road to Indian Wells leaderboard, anything is possible with 160 points on the line.
Other notable Americans to watch include 14-year-old Coco Gauff who will face off against World No. 112 Timea Bacsinszky in her WTA 125 debut and Newport Beach finalist Jessica Pegula who is chasing down the one of the coveted BNP Paribas Open wild cards.