Simona Halep (ROU)
Ranking: No. 26
Road to BNP Paribas Open QFs: Ekaterina Alexandrova, Coco Gauff, Sorana Cirstea
Go-To Quote: “I never had a coach younger than me. It’s the first time.”
Did You Know?: Halep is currently coached by 28-year-old Morgan Bourbon, the former coach of Frenchman Benoit Paire.
Petra Martic (CRO)
Ranking: No. 79
Road to BNP Paribas Open QFs: Tamara Zidansek, Emma Raducanu, Liudmila Samsonova
Go-To Quote: “I’m a bit of a perfectionist so that definitely doesn’t help always. I try not to judge myself for the mistakes. I think in my third round against Emma Raducanu that was the big thing. I think that’s what made the big difference in the end. I just let go of all the mistakes and disappointment. I just tried to compete and fight until the end – that’s what definitely helps.”
Did You Know?: Martic, who has been working with coach Michael Geserer, has recorded three top-30 wins in succession for the first time in her career.
Iga Swiatek (POL)
Ranking: No. 4
Road to BNP Paribas Open QFs: Anhelina Kalinina, Clara Tauson, Angelique Kerber
Go-To Quote: “Before when I was losing I felt like my whole life is bad and like the base of my existing is suddenly destroyed because I’m losing a tennis match, you know? And right now I have more distance to everything and I can see clearly. Basically, I’m just more calm and more confident, I would say.”
Did You Know?: Swiatek changed coaches in the off-season and is now working with Tomasz Wiktorowski, the former coach of Polish star Agnieszka Radwanska.
Madison Keys (USA)
Ranking: No. 29
Road to BNP Paribas Open QFs: Misaki Doi, Alison Riske, Harriet Dart
Go-To Quote: “I think I’ve made a really conscious decision to just try to put myself in the best position that I can on the tennis court, and remind myself why I started playing tennis, just enjoy that part of it. It’s just, I think, obviously translating.”
Did You Know?: Keys won her first WTA-level match as a 14-year-old, defeating Alla Kudryavtseva at Ponte Vedra Beach – she is the eighth-youngest player to ever win a WTA match.
Paula Badosa (ESP)
Ranking: No. 7
Road to BNP Paribas Open QFs: Tereza Martincova, Sara Sorribes Tormo, Leylah Fernandez
Go-To Quote: ““When I retire I just want everyone to be remembered that I was a fighter, that’s what I want to show on court,”
Did You Know?: Badosa was born in New York and lived there until she was seven. The Spaniard was born to Mireia Gibert and Josep Badosa. Both of them are involved in the fashion industry and have a brick-and-mortar clothing store in Begur, Girona.
Rankings: No. 24
Road to BNP Paribas Open QFs: Naomi Osaka, Marie Bouzkova, Marketa Vondrousova
Go-To Quote: “ I have little bit more confidence than last year because I think every day I practice really hard and it gives me really more confident. I already beat a lot of good players this year. It also give me a lot of confidence. Every morning I step on the court, I try to do my best, I try to improve.”
Did You Know?: Kudermetova’s father, Eduard Kudermetov, is a national ice hockey champion in her homeland. His professional career lasted from 1990 to 2008.
Maria Sakkari (GRE)
Ranking: No. 6
Road to the BNP Paribas Open QFs: Katerina Siniakova, Petra Kvitova, Daria Saville
Go-To Quote: “Now I feel like I still have a lot in the tank for three more matches. Might be one, might be two, might be three. I’m used to going deep. Now I feel like it’s not something new for me. I would say from last year I started feeling like, you know, it doesn’t feel like very tiring to go deep into a tournament.”
Did You Know?: Sakkari loves Greek food, but when she travels stateside she’s partial to the famous American cheeseburgers at In-N-Out. She also loves Cheesecake Factory. Her favorite dish? Da Vinci pasta, extra chicken.
Elena Rybakina (KAZ)
Ranking: No. 20
Road to the BNP Paribas Open QFs: Alison Van Uytvanck, Victoria Azarenka, Viktorija Golubic
Go-To Quote: “I didn’t expect that COVID was going to be that hard for me. It was really, really tough. In one week I think I lost four kilos. I had a high fever. I really didn’t expect. I thought it’s going to be easier. Here is the first tournament I can say after Covid, that I’m feeling much better. I’m not coughing. Maybe physically I didn’t have good preparation, didn’t practice much, but at least I’m very happy that now I can play.”
Did You Know?: 6’0″ Rybakina used to participate in gymnastics and figure skating, but realized she was too tall to be a professional in either sport, so switched to tennis.