INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - The 2017 BNP Paribas Open is right around the corner and the season's first Premier Mandatory event has announced a stacked field headlined by World No.1 Angelique Kerber and the returns of former No.1s Serena Wiliams and Venus Williams.
Kerber is tentatively slated as the top seed in what will be her seventh main draw appearance in Indian Wells. The German reached back-to-back semifinals in 2012 and 2013 - losing a classic three-setter to Caroline Wozniacki in the latter - but will be aiming to build on opening-round losses since.
Not far behind Kerber is World No.2 Serena, who could well be back atop the WTA rankings by the time the tour heads West to California. The American ended a 12-year absence from Indian Wells in 2015, and the two-time champion has brought some of her best tennis to the tournament, reaching the final last year.
Venus returned last year, and the seven-time Slam champion's career has been on a definite upswing of late, reaching two semifinals at the last three major tournaments.
Joining Kerber and the Williamses is a full slate of Top 10 opposition, including 2015 champion Simona Halep, who defeated 2010 winner Jelena Jankovic in a three-set final. Former No.1 Caroline Wozniacki will also be in attendance; the Dane lifted the trophy back in 2011.
Former No.1 Victoria Azarenka won't be back to defend her title due to the recent birth of her first child.
The remaining spots in the draws will be filled by winners of the Qualifying tournament (March 6-8) and Wildcards, which will be announced in the coming weeks.
To purchase tickets, visit www.bnpparibasopen.com!