The doubles draws in Indian Wells never lack for noteworthy matchups: Established partnerships have to be particularly wary as more singles players creep into the playing field.

The women’s side is well under way, with the top seeds and two-time major winners Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova leading the charge as they try to win their first title of the season. They overcame a potentially tricky team in the first round of Ashleigh Barty and Caroline Garcia, former Grand Slam champs themselves with different partners.

Serena and Venus Williams, who were supposed to play together for the first time since last year's French Open, ended up withdrawing from the tournament. They're not the only headliner that won't be contention to lift the first-place trophy.

Second seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic, last year’s Australian Open and WTA Finals winners, are already out, losing to Top-20 singles standouts Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka. Su-Wei Hsieh and Barbora Strycova, who won Indian Wells last year and are coming off a recent title in Dubai, opened their defense with a straight-sets victory over Karolina Pliskova and Julia Goerges.


The men kick off play today, with some of the game’s best in doubles and singles taking the court. Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini will face Jeremy Chardy and Milos Raonic: Chardy has actually been on a roll in doubles this year, winning two titles already. Steve Johnson and Dominic Thiem will square up against local favorite Taylor Fritz and the enigmatic Aussie Nick Kyrgios in another of the marquee matches.

Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev will take on Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, the fifth seeds, in the opening round. The brothers Zverev are fresh off winning their second title together in Acapulco last week.

With so many singles players in the draw, the likelihood of what could’ve been a final might become a first-round match. Case in point: Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, who just won Dubai, will see some familiar opponents across the net in Ben McLachlan and Joe Salisbury, who they defeated for that title, in the first round in Indian Wells. Perhaps more points like this will be on display?


Both of those teams are unseeded, as are contenders Ivan Dodig and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, and Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau. The path to the title is treacherous from start to finish for top seeds like Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut; Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares; and Bob and Mike Bryan, who dropped last year’s final to Jack Sock and John Isner. Herbert and Mahut will see Isner in the first round as he teams up with compatriot Sam Querrey this year.

An upset isn’tt out of the cards there as Indian Wells continues to be one of the toughest doubles tournaments to emerge triumphant from.

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