The seeded women’s singles players will make their debuts in the 2013 BNP Paribas Open today, while the men will complete their first round of main draw singles play at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
All 32 seeded players in the 96-player women’s singles draw received first-round byes.
Russian Maria Sharapova, who is seeded second, will face Francesca Schiavone of Italy in the fourth match on the Stadium 1 court. Sharapova is 3-0 lifetime against Schiavone, with their most recent meeting coming in 2009.
The lone night singles match pits third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland against Maria Sanchez, a former USC standout raised in Modesto, who received a wild card berth into the tournament.
Following the Radwanska-Sanchez match, the “Salute to Heroes Main Stadium Ceremony” will be conducted, recognizing veterans, military personnel, police and firefighters and including a performance by the Palm Springs High School Spirit of the Sands Marching Band.
The ceremony will be followed by a men’s doubles match between brothers Bob and Mike Bryan, the world’s top-ranked doubles team, against Marin Cilic of Croatia and Jonathan Erlich of Israel.
All veterans and current military, police and fire personnel will be given two tickets for the evening session by showing proper identification at the South Gate box office.
The tournament’s top-seeded woman, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, will play her first match of the tournament Saturday against Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia.
Today’s men’s matches include Steve Johnson, the 2011 and 2012 NCAA men’s singles champion while playing for USC, facing Pablo Andujar of Spain.
The first round of women’s main draw singles play concluded Thursday with the youngest and oldest players among the winners and men’s main draw singles play beginning with 16 matches.
Kimiko Date-Krumm, a 42-year-old from Japan, defeated 28-year-old Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Taylor Townsend, a 16-year-old from Stockbridge, Ga. playing in her first Women’s Tennis Association Tour match, defeated 27-year-old Lucie
Hradecka of the Czech Republic, 3-6, 7-6(1), 6-3.
“She came out playing really well,” said Townsend. who ended 2012 as the world’s top-ranked junior player, the first American girl to achieve the feat since Gretchen Rush in 1982. “I just tried to really compose myself and stay calm. That’s what brought me through.”
Hradecka is 57th on the WTA rankings, Townsend 471st.
Madison Keys defeated fellow American Melanie Oudin, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, in a night match.
“Honestly, I don’t think it was a very good match from either of us, particularly the first set,” said Oudin, a U.S. Open quarterfinalist in 2009.
“I just thought we both made so many errors. It got better as the match went on, but the first set was terrible, just the amount of mistakes we were both making.”
Like in the women’s draw, all 32 seeded men’s players received first-round byes.
Winners included Lleyton Hewitt, the world’s No. 1 ranked player from Nov. 19, 2001-April 27, 2003 and May 12-July 15, 2003, his fellow Australian Bernard Tomic, and David Nalbandian of Argentina, who has been ranked as high as third.