The 2019 BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California is set to begin on Wednesday.
The women's and men's fields are stocked with the game's best players, with Australian Open champions Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic earning No. 1 seeds. Osaka is also the defending Indian Wells winner.
Unfortunately, defending men's champion Juan Martin del Potro is out with a knee injury. Maria Sharapova is not competing due to a shoulder injury.
Here's a look at the women's and men's draws, the top seeds on each side and some Twitter reaction to a few tough championship paths for some of the game's greatest players.
1. Naomi Osaka
2. Simona Halep
3. Petra Kvitova
4. Sloane Stephens
5. Karolina Pliskova
6. Elina Svitolina
7. Kiki Bertens
9. Aryna Sabalenka
10. Serena Williams
1. Novak Djokovic
3. Alexander Zverev
5. Kevin Anderson
6. Kei Nishikori
7. Dominic Thiem
8. John Isner
9. Stefanos Tsitsipas
10. Marin Cilic
Two points stand out above the rest when reviewing the women's and men's draws.
One, the field is absolutely stacked.
Two, the championship path is treacherous for some of the game's best, with No. 1 Osaka being the most notable:
Live Tennis @livetennis
Naomi #Osaka's potential route in her Indian Wells title defence: R1: Bye R2: #Mladenovic R3: #Collins R16: #Wozniacki/#Bencic QF: #Pliskova SF: #Kvitova/#Kerber Final: #Serena/#Halep Can she survive? Draw preview and picks >>> https://t.co/bB0aSYcOVQ https://t.co/ya4dcMUa47
The 21-year-old's path just to make the semifinals is treacherous.
Danielle Collins, who made a run from unseeded qualifier to Australian Open semifinalist, could be waiting in the round of 32.
Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki or Belinda Bencic is the favorite to potentially meet Osaka in the fourth round. Bencic is on a roll having beaten four top-10 players to win in Dubai.
Karolina Pliskova went blow for blow with Osaka in the Australian Open semifinals before losing in three sets and has split four career matches with the two-time major winner.
Of course, Osaka is the No. 1 seed for a reason, and she's won the last two majors in addition to last year's Indian Wells. She's also a massive fan favorite, as noted by this Indian Wells autograph session:
Serena Williams could also have a rough slate of opponents:
Victoria Azarenka is a two-time Australian Open champion, and Garbine Muguruza is a two-time major winner. Kiki Bertens just won the 2019 St. Petersburg Ladies' Trophy, and 2017 United States Open champion Sloane Stephens is one of the game's best stars.
However, it probably isn't comfortable for her opponents knowing that they have to face the most decorated tennis player in history.
On the men's side, No. 6 Kei Nishikori has a brutal potential lineup of competitors. Jose Morgado of Sport TV Portugal outlined the pitfalls:
Nishikori could get picked off well before the finals.
Lucas Pouille, who linked with new coach Amelie Mauresmo before the 2019 season, made a semifinals run in the Australian Open before losing to eventual champion Djokovic.
Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion, has made the quarterfinals in five of his last eight majors. Denis Shapovalov, 19, is a rising star who has already achieved a top-25 ranking, and Roger Federer is the best men's tennis player the game has ever seen.
Djokovic wouldn't have to see Rafael Nadal or Federer until the finals, but he may not get that far with a third-round blockbuster potentially waiting against Nick Kyrgios:
As Nick McCarvel noted, Kyrgios is coming off a win at the Mexican Open, which featured wins against three top-10 opponents including Nadal. The 23-year-old has also beaten Djokovic in their two only matchups, with one occurring in the fourth round at Indian Wells two years ago.
The eventual winners in both draws certainly will have earned their trophies given the elite competition.