Just five months after the 2021, Indian Wells begins next week, 7/2/22. The ‘slam in the west’ is the second WTA 1000 event after Doha.

Last year’s Indian Wells saw the first Spanish winner in Paula Badosa, it was a tight final, but Badosa rallied against the odds to claw back her first WTA 1000 event. 

The doubles was won by Su-Wei and Mertens.

The seeds have been announced, and they all receive a bye into the second round.

The defending champion

Badosa with the 2021 Indian Wells trophy

Paula Badosa was propelled into the top ten, a breakthrough year for her, combined with her first ever title coming in Belgrade. 

The Spaniard is the sixth seed and world number six, she started 2022 strongly, winning a third career title in Sydney.

She made the fourth round at the Australian Open.

Badosa is in decent form approaching her title defence.

World number one

Ash Barty with the 2022 Australian Open trophy – Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

Ash Barty is undefeated this year, at 11-0. She started strong by winning Adelaide, then went on to win her home slam in Australia. Firmly world number one, no one else in the game looks close to Barty.

Barty is the hot favourite.

The two time winner

Victoria Azarenka in the 2021 Indian Wells – Kathryn Riley/BNP Paribas Open

Victoria Azarenka is the only properly active player to have won Indian Wells more than once. Last year she almost became the unmatched leader, in a very close final, but ultimately crumbled at the end.

Apart from a fourth round at the Australian Open it’s been a relatively poor season for Azarenka, she made a quarterfinal in Adelaide, but hasn’t been able to string together more than one match win in a row since AO.

As 15th seed, she is unlikely to make a third win here.

In form

Two other players are in great form in the lead up to this Indian wells.

Swiatek with the Doha 1000 trophy

The first is Iga Swiatek who made the semi final of the Australian Open, and won her second WTA 1000 title, coming in Doha. She’s in top form, and could be a real threat to Barty. She starts as the fourth seed.

Kontaveit with the 2022 St. Petersburg trophy.

Anett Kontaveit is also on top form, she struggled at the Australian Open, making only the second round, though she’s never had success in the slams. However the Estonian has won the St Petersburg 500 and made the final in the Doha 1000. She starts as fifth seed.

Other noteworthy players

Barbora Krejcikova at the 2022 Australian Open – Morgan Hancock/TENNIS AUSTRALIA

Krejcikova (2) – Career high.

Sabalenka (3) – Always strong outside of slams.

Sakkari (7) – Always solid.

Raducanu (13) – British hope, rough season.

Halep (26) – Former champion.