Serena to face Diyas

Williams

Serena Williams will make her eagerly-anticipated comeback against Zarina Diyas in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells

The former world No.1, who has not taken to the court since winning a 23rd Grand Slam title at last year’s Australian Open, could encounter her sister Venus in a blockbuster third round clash.

Serena, now a mother to a baby girl, did play an exhibition match against Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi in January, but California will be the location for her official return to competitive action.

The 36-year-old encountered Diyas in Indian Wells three years ago, and dropped just two games in a one-sided contest. If Serena does overcome the world No.53, she could face Kiki Bertens in the second round.

Julia Goerges, Elina Svitolina and Caroline Wozniacki could be possible opposition for the American en route to the final. Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza have been placed in the other half of the draw.

Serena is not the only former Grand Slam champion making a return in Indian Wells. Victoria Azarenka, who has not played since Wimbledon for various reasons, will take on Heather Watson in the first round.

The prize for the winner is a second round meeting with an out-of-form Sloane Stephens.

Maria Sharapova faces a tough first round assignment against Naomi Osaka and Belinda Bencic will commence against Timea Babos. Johanna Konta will begin her campaign against either Marketa Vondrousova or a qualifier.

Halep, the world No.1, will meet a qualifier or Kristyna Pliskova in the second round and could encounter Dominika Cibulkova in the last 32.

To check out the full draw, click here.

Posted by: tennishead magazine

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