Aussies in action: Indian Wells preview
Sam Stosur, Bernard Tomic, Lleyton Hewitt, Casey Dellacqua, Marinko Matosevic, Anastasia Rodionova and Matt Ebden are all in action this week at Indian Wells.
After being dispersed around the globe at various events during the past few weeks, Australia’s top tennis talents will converge for the BNP Paribas Open, the joint ATP/WTA event in Indian Wells, California.
Leading the way will be Sam Stosur, who is the seventh seed in the women’s singles.
As a seed Stosur enjoys a bye in the first round, and will open her campaign with a match against one of two young Americans – Madison Keys or Melanie Oudin.
Should she progress through the draw in the Californian desert, Stosur is projected to meet 11th seed Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round, and No.4 seed Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals.
Stosur has a history of performing solidly at the rich WTA Premier Mandatory event, following up her semifinal run in 2010 with third round appearances in 2011 and 2012.
“The conditions in Indian Wells are light and I feel suit my natural style of play,” she commented last week in an interview ahead of the US spring hardcourt season.
Hoping to join Stosur are Casey Dellacqua and Anastasia Rodionova, who both won their first round qualifying matches on Monday and now each stand one win away from a place in the main draw.
Dellacqua dismissed Russian Marta Sirotkina 6-3 6-2 to set up a final-round qualifying duel with Nastassja Burnett of Italy, while Rodionova had to battle before subduing Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova in a third set tiebreak.
Rodionova, the 16th seed in qualifying, will next take on Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal.
While the men’s singles draw has yet to be released, three Aussies – Bernard Tomic, Marinko Matosevic and Lleyton Hewitt – will be among the action at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event.
Tomic will be hoping to improve on his performance from last year’s edition of the BNP Paribas Open, where he fell in three tight sets to Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in the opening round.
He reached the second round in 2011.
Matosevic has successfully qualified for the tournament the past three years and progressed to the second round of the main draw in both 2010 and 2012, taking his career win-loss record at the event to an impressive 8-3.
This is the first time he has been granted direct main draw entry.
For Hewitt, Indian Wells is one of his most successful stomping grounds – he won the title in 2002 and 2003, reached the final in 2005, and made the fourth round in 2008.
Meanwhile, the men’s qualifying draw was published on Monday in Indian Wells, with Matthew Ebden the No.19 seed.
He needs to win two matches to progress to the main draw, with his first assignment coming in the form of Kazakh Andrey Golubev.