All of the Top 40 players in the WTA singles rankings are on the entry list for the 2022 BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which will kick off four weeks of WTA 1000 action on American hard courts. Main-draw play in Indian Wells begins on Wednesday, March 9.

Only five months after last year's October edition, the 2022 BNP Paribas Open will be the second WTA 1000 event of the season (after Doha in February) and will start the "Sunshine Double" that concludes with the subsequent Miami Open.

World No.1 Ashleigh Barty leads the field after missing last year's edition. Barty extended her lead at the top of the WTA rankings when she won her third Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open in January. Barty became the first Aussie to win the Australian Open women's singles title in 44 years.

Read more: Barty eyes the next chapter after 'full-circle' Australian Open win

World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, No.3 Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic and No.4 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic round out the top four entrants. Each of those players is seeking a first trip to the Indian Wells final.

World No.5 Paula Badosa will return as the defending champion. Badosa, who recently became just the fourth Spanish woman to crack the Top 5 of the WTA singles rankings, defeated two-time Indian Wells champion Victoria Azarenka in a third-set tiebreak last year to claim her biggest title to date.

Former World No.1 Azarenka is entered; she aims for a third BNP Paribas Open title to add to her triumphs in 2012 and 2016. Simona Halep, the 2015 winner,  joins Azarenka as the former champions on the entry list. Former finalists Angelique Kerber and Daria Kasatkina are also entered.

Champion's Reel: How Paula Badosa won Indian Wells 2021

The remainder of the Top 10 — Garbiñe Muguruza, Maria Sakkari, Iga Swiatek, Anett Kontaveit and Ons Jabeur — are all entered, as is World No.11 Danielle Collins, who rose to American No.1 after reaching her first Grand Slam final at this year's Australian Open.

Read more: Collins focused on what's next in her journey

A strong youth presence will also factor into the event. Teenagers including 19-year-old US Open champion Emma Raducanu (No.13), 19-year-old US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez (No.19), 17-year-old Coco Gauff (No.20) and 19-year-old Clara Tauson (No.33) are on the entry list.

Seventy-six players in total are on the entry list, with No.77 Clara Burel of France the last direct acceptance. The remaining 20 spots in the main draw will be filled by the winners from the qualifying tournament (March 7-9) and wildcard recipients. The Top 32 seeds will receive first-round byes in the main draw.

The singles final will take place on Sunday, March 20, with the doubles final occurring the day before, on Saturday, March 19.