Between the men and women’s draws at the BNP Paribas Open sixteen teams are seeded. And to a pair, not a one of them faces an easy opening-round match, a fact already backed up with three of the top four teams on the women’s side falling in the opening round.

Top seeds Veronika Kudermetova and defending champion Elise Mertens fell to former French Open finalists Makoto Ninomiya and Eri Hozumi. Samantha Stosur and Shuai Zhang, last year’s US Open winners and the second seeds in Indian Wells, were topped by singles standouts Alize Cornet and Leylah Fernadez. And Darija Jurak Schreiber and Andreja Klepac, the fourth seeds, dropped their opener to Hao-Ching Chan and Magda Linette.

Coco Gauff and Caty McNally, the third seeds and fan favorites, topped their countrywomen Lauren Davis and Christina McHale in the first round. The Americans could be in for a deep run, given the upsets that have taken place already.


Play on the men’s side is set to kick off at what’s arguably considered the “fifth major,” with tough matches ahead for many of the seeded teams. Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, the No. 1 duo, take on Americans Jack Sock and John Isner, sometime partners who’ve won Masters titles—including Indian Wells—in the past.

John Peers and Filip Polasek, the reigning men’s winners and fifth seeds, are slated to play Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer, the team that’s already gone a perfect two-for-two in US tournaments this year with titles in Dallas and Delray Beach, Fla.


Mektic/Pavic and Peers/Polasek—and their respective opponents—are all in the top half of the draw, along with two-time Slam winners Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, the fourth seeds, and sixth-seeded Tim Puetz and Michael Venus. As is usually the case in Indian Wells, there’s a glut of singles stars pairing up, with many of them landing in that section, such as Taylor Fritz/Tommy Paul and Sebastian Korda/Jannik Sinner. The most dangerous floaters of them all, though, might be Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, relatively fresh off their surprise run at the Australian Open.

On the bottom half of the draw, Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, the second seeds, find themselves up against two-time French Open champs Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies in their opener. Lurking down there, though, are Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, the team to beat all year. The seventh seeds face former Australian Open champs Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in the first round.