The 2022 BNP Paribas Open, scheduled to be held from March 9-20, will mark the 33rd edition of the women's singles tournament at Indian Wells. Billed as the fifth Slam of the year, the prestigious WTA 1000 outdoor hardcourt event has attracted a bevy of top stars.
With a host of top-20 stars and former champions in the fray, there will be some high-octane action in store for fans over the course of the fortnight.
On that note, here's all the information you need to know about the BNP Paribas Open:
What is the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells?
The BNP Paribas Open is one of the biggest events on the tennis calendar after the four Grand Slams. It was first held in Arizona (1974-75) before moving to three venues in California. From Rancho Mirage (1976-80), the tournament shifted to La Quinta (1981-86) and finally to its current home in Indian Wells in 1987.
It was staged as a non-tour event from 1974-76 after which it became a part of the Grand Prix Tennis Tour as a secondary event. In 1987, it attained the status of a Grand Prix Super Series tournament, which is just below the four Majors and the Year-End Finals in importance.
The BNP Paribas Open is the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the year on the men's tour, while the women's competition is part of the WTA 1000 category.
It is the first of the two events that form the Sunshine Double, with the other being the Miami Open.
Both the men's and women's sides have seen a slew of legendary players lift the trophy in the past. Past men's champions include Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Both Federer and Djokovic have tasted glory at this event five times while Nadal has triumphed thrice.
Among the women, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka have gone on to win the title.
The last edition, which was held in October 2021 due to the pandemic, was won by Cameron Norrie (men's singles) and Paula Badosa (women's singles).
The BNP Paribas Open will be held on hardcourt (Plexipave) at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, United States.
Eight of the world's top-10 women's singles players will feature in the upcoming edition of the tournament.
Former champion Naomi Osaka, who is returning to the event for the first time since 2019, will be a dangerous floater.
2021 Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova will play her first tournament of the season since recovering from a hand injury.
While Sabalenka headlines the draw in Indian Wells, Doha champion Iga Swiatek and St. Petersburg winner Anett Kontaveit round out the top four seeds. Defending champion Paula Badosa is seeded fifth, with St. Petersburg runner-up Maria Sakkari right after her.
Karolina Pliskova, Garbina Muguruza, Ons Jabeur and Dubai titlist Jelena Ostapenko complete the top 10.
Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka and US Open winner Emma Raducanu are also among the top 16 seeds. Also in the mix are 2015 winner Simona Halep, Monterrey champion Leylah Fernandez and Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic.
World No. 1 and reigning Australian Open champion Ashleigh Barty has withdrawn from the upcoming edition of the Indian Wells Open.
The qualifying rounds of the women's singles event in Indian Wells are being held on March 7 and 8. The main draw action will kickstart on March 9, with the grand finale scheduled for March 20.
All 32 seeds have received first-round byes and will begin their respective campaigns in the round of 64. The biggest match in the first round will be the clash between 2018 champion Naomi Osaka and 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens.
The total financial commitment at Indian Wells is $9,260,028 while the women's singles winner will collect a cheque worth $1,231,245 and 1000 ranking points.
Where to watch
Viewers from the US can catch the action in Indian Wells live on Tennis TV, while fans in the UK will be able to see it live on Amazon Prime Video. Canadians can watch the matches live on TSN (English Language) & TVA (French Language).