Day 2 at the BNP Paribas Open sees the completion of first-round action, and another host of fascinating clashes. Here are six to circle:
Sloane Stephens (USA) vs. Naomi Osaka (JPN)
Undeniably the pick of the Indian Wells first round in terms of big-name value, potential significance to the rest of the season and likely on-court excitement. When two unseeded former Grand Slam champions are pitted against each other off the bat, it's a match that inherently comes with wider questions.
First, their rankings. Stephens hit a career-high of No.3 in Feb. 2019 but has not been ranked inside the Top 20 since October of that year. Former World No.1 Osaka has fallen to No.78 after playing only three tournaments in the second half of 2021, then failing to defend her Australian Open title.
But ranking has never been especially meaningful to either player, and both have showed they don't require a friendly seeding to take a draw by storm. Stephens was the World No.83 when she won the 2017 US Open. Osaka was ranked No.44 when she won her first WTA trophy at Indian Wells 2018. That year, she was also drawn against a former major champion in the first round that year, Maria Sharapova.
Second, the matchup. It's an intriguing clash in terms of stylistic contrast, made more so because it's simply never happened as much as it should. At the 2018 WTA Finals, it was a popcorn round-robin encounter, the first time the pair had played as Grand Slam champions. Stephens won in three sets. They have not met since.
Both players have hit the reset button in 2022. Osaka looked strong in January and was only narrowly denied by the in-form Amanda Anisimova after missing a match point in the third round of the Australian Open. Stephens, who wed Jozy Altidore on New Year's Day, snapped a four-year title drought by winning Guadalajara a fortnight ago, boosting her ranking back up to No.38.
However, even though Stephens made her WTA main-draw debut in Indian Wells back in 2010, the tournament hasn't been her happiest hunting ground since, with a lone quarterfinal run in 2014 her best showing. The winner of this encounter will face No.21 seed Veronika Kudermetova in round two.
Head-to-head: Stephens leads 2-0, winning 6-3, 7-5 in the 2016 Acapulco quarterfinals and 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 at the 2018 WTA Finals.
Camila Osorio (COL) vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich
Osorio's title run at Bogota last year as a No.180-ranked wildcard was a terrific story out of leftfield. But the 20-year-old Colombian has spent the 11 months since dispelling any notion that it was down to home-court advantage, or that she is a clay specialist.
After a run to the third round of Wimbledon in her first grass season, she reached two more final runs on hard courts, in Tenerife last October and in Monterrey last week. Osorio, now at a career-high of No.35, has proved to be an all-court threat. Along the way, between her effervescent personality and penchant for exciting rollercoaster matches, she's also shown that she's a natural crowd-pleaser.
The perennially under-ranked and underrated Sasnovich will be a tough test. The 27-year-old's current ranking of No.69 isn't a reflection of the damage her clean, aggressive ball-striking can inflict. Sasnovich owns six Top 10 wins in her career and reached a final this year (at Melbourne Summer Set 2). Last autumn, she routed Osorio in Indian Wells, losing only four games.
Moreover, a further question mark for Osorio will be how quickly she can bounce back from the Monterrey final. Not only was her week, which also included a 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) upset of Elina Svitolina, physically rigorous, but she was unable to take five championship points against Leylah Fernandez in arguably the best final of the season so far.
The winner will face No.27 seed Petra Kvitova in the second round.
Head-to-head: 1-1, both in 2021, with Osorio winning 6-4, 6-2 in the Belgrade quarterfinals on clay and Sasnovich gaining a 6-0, 6-4 revenge in the first round of Indian Wells.
[Q] Wang Qiang (CHN) vs. [Q] Marie Bouzkova (CZE)
Both Wang and Bouzkova entered last month's Mexican swing in need of a resurgence - and found one. The former World No.12 Wang fell out of the Top 100 last November for the first time since February of 2016 and was down to No.144 two weeks ago. But a third-round run at the Australian Open (including an upset of Coco Gauff) was an indication that the Chinese player was turning things around; a Guadalajara semifinal followed by a Monterrey quarterfinal has bumped her back up to No.104.
Bouzkova, meanwhile, had failed to reach a WTA semifinal in the 12 months between Guadalajara 2021 and 2022. But the Czech's affinity for Mexico has been a constant throughout her career. With her Top 100 spot in danger, Bouzkova delivered a runner-up showing in Guadalajara (defeating Wang en route) and a quarterfinal run in Monterrey to avoid falling outside it.
The winner of their first-round tie will face No.14 seed Jessica Pegula.
Head-to-head: 1-1, with Wang winning 6-3, 6-3 in the second round of Wuhan 2019 and Bouzkova triumphing 6-3, 6-3 in the Guadalajara semifinals two weeks ago.
[Q] Daria Saville (AUS) vs. Zhang Shuai (CHN)
New name, same game. Saville, née Gavrilova, has played only a handful of matches in the past two years due to travel restrictions and injuries, but with her comeback in full swing the 28-year-old former World No.20 is beginning to make an impact again.
Two weeks ago in Guadalajara, Saville reached her first WTA quarterfinal since Strasbourg 2019. She started by winning the longest WTA main-draw match of the season, a 3-hour, 36-minute marathon over Emma Raducanu that ended when the British No.1 seed retiring trailing 4-3 in the third set. Saville went on to take a set off eventual champion Sloane Stephens in the last eight.
Zhang was also one of February's standout performers, winning her third career title, first since 2017 and first outside China in Lyon last week.
Head-to-head: Zhang leads 3-1, including their only hardcourt encounter in the 2018 Hong Kong quarterfinals 6-1, 6-3. They have not played since Eastbourne 2019, also won by Zhang in straight sets.
Amanda Anisimova (USA) vs. [WC] Emma Navarro (USA)
Anisimova's Australian renaissance was one of the stories of January. The former World No.21 captured her second career title at Melbourne Summer Set 2 and backed it up with a fourth-round run at the Australian Open via a stellar upset of defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round.
She faces an American compatriot and generational peer who was also a standout junior, but whose path has diverged since. Navarro, the 2019 Roland Garros girls' runner-up to Leylah Fernandez, is also 20 years old, and currently a college player at the University of Virginia. Despite playing a limited pro schedule, Navarro has nonetheless managed to rise to a Top 200 debut this week.
The winner will take on No.18 seed Fernandez in the second round in what will be another clash to circle.
Head-to-head: 0-0. Unusually for players born in the same year, this is their first meeting at any level.
Marta Kostyuk (UKR) vs. Maryna Zanevska (BEL)
A potentially emotional encounter between two former countrywomen - Zanevska now represents Belgium but was born in Odesa, Ukraine. Last week, Elina Svitolina and Dayana Yastremska were somehow able to channel their emotion at the war unfolding in their home country into battling performances, with both speaking about how they were motivated to win for Ukraine.
Kyiv native Kostyuk, 19, started 2022 promisingly, reaching the third round of the Australian Open before losing narrowly to Paula Badosa; Zanevska's career is also on the upswing after the 28-year-old won her maiden WTA title in Gdynia last July. But the first tour-level match between players born in Ukraine is also a reminder of the off-court solidarity needed with the country at this time.
Head-to-head: Zanevska leads 2-1, including both hardcourt encounters, though the pair have not played since 2019.
Click here to view full order of play for Day 2.