Saturday, March 3, 2018 - Eugenie Bouchard practices on practice court two during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
Nine Americans, along with Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, were among those awarded main draw wild cards into the 2018 BNP Paribas Open, to be held March 5-18 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
American men who received wild cards into the main draw include Tennys Sandgren, who reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open earlier this season; 21-year-old and California native Ernesto Escobedo, who is coming off an impressive win over World No. 10 Jack Sock at Acapulco; and Bradley Klahn and Reilly Opelka – the second and third place finishers, respectively, in the inaugural Oracle Challenger Series. Fellow American Taylor Fritz won the Series, but moved into the main draw on the basis of his current ranking. Klahn reached the singles final of the Oracle Challenger Series – Newport Beach in January; Opelka reached the quarterfinals of Delray Beach recently. In addition, Australian Alex de Minaur, who was a finalist this year at Sydney and semifinalist at Brisbane, was also awarded a wild card.
On the women’s side, Bouchard – who has reached the Round of 16 at Indian Wells twice before (2014 and 2015) and has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world – was granted a wild card into the WTA main draw, along with Americans Caroline Dolehide, who has three ITF singles titles and three ITF doubles titles to her name at only 19 years old; 2017 Junior Wimbledon champion Claire Lui; Kayla Day, who made it to the third round of the 2017 BNP Paribas Open before falling to Garbiñe Muguruza in three sets; as well as the top two finishers in the Oracle Challenger Series, Danielle Collins, the winner of the women’s singles final at the Oracle Challenger Series – Newport Beach, and 2017 US Open girls’ singles champion Amanda Anisimova. Additionally, Russian Sofya Zhuk, the runner up at Newport Beach, also received a wild card.
Two-time BNP Paribas Open champion Victoria Azarenka was previously awarded a wild card into the main draw. Azarenka will be making her return to WTA Tour action following an extended layoff after the birth of her son.
Wild cards into the BNP Paribas Open Men’s Qualifying Draw were awarded to Americans Noah Rubin, Marcos Giron and Evan Song, winner of the BNP Paribas Open pre-qualifying tournament event last month. Australian Tanasi Kokkinakis also received a wild card, and one men’s qualifying wild card still remains to be distributed.
Americans Louisa Chirico, Allie Kiick, Ann Li and BNP Paribas Open pre-qualifying champion Ashley Kratzer received wild cards into the BNP Paribas Open Women’s Qualifying Draw. Also getting wild cards are 2015 US Open runner-up Roberta Vinci and Sabine Lisicki.