Andy Swales provides form stats for the forthcoming WTA Tour women's singles event at Indian Wells...
"This prestigious title provides Naomi Ozaka with another opportunity to show why she is one of the hottest properties in world tennis right now."
A strong field has travelled to California to contest the first big American event of the 2019 WTA Tour season, the BNP Paribas Open.
Most of the world's top 40 have made the journey for this 11-day tournament in the desert environment of Indian Wells.
Starting on Wednesday, 24 hours before the men's singles gets underway, this prestigious title provides Naomi Ozaka with another opportunity to show why she is one of the hottest properties in world tennis right now.
The 22-year-old from Japan, who has triumphed in the last two grand slam events, is the defending champion at Indian Wells and during the past year has emerged as arguably the best hard court player in the women's game.
Serena Williams is among those taking part while the only player in the world's top 30 who is definitely absent - at the moment - is two-time winner Maria Sharapova.
The 31-year-old Russian withdrew a few weeks ago with a shoulder injury.
The main court at Indian Wells is the second largest outdoor tennis arena in the world and can accommodate 100,000 spectators.
Naomi Osaka: When she arrived at Indian Wells last year she wasn't even among the 32 seeds. She beat Maria Sharapova in her opening match and lost just three games against the top seed Simona Halep in the semi-finals. In a clash involving two surprise finalists, she beat the No 20 seed Daria Kasatkina in the title decider. Since winning this year's Australian Open in Melbourne, Ozaka has appointed a new coach - Jermaine Jenkins.
Simona Halep: Has looked reasonably sharp since returning to competition following surgery earlier in the season. Won at Wells four years ago and collected a big hard court title at the Rogers Cup in Canada last summer.
Petra Kvitova: Beaten by Ozaka in the Melbourne final during January, the 28-year-old from the Czech Republic has started 2019 as well as she began last year. During her career has won five outdoor hard court titles at Premier Mandatory or Premier 5 level.
Sloane Stephens: The world No 4 from the United States is not the most consistent of players but will be desperate to improve on her record at Indian Wells - just one quarter-final from eight appearances.
Karolina Pliskova: In an online feature published last month, she was ranked No 1 in the WTA's Hard Court Power Index. Outdoor hard is arguably her best surface, and she is a two-time semi-finalist at Indian Wells.
Elina Svitolina: Secured the biggest title of her career last year when she won the end-of-season WTA Finals. The 24-year-old from Ukraine has triumphed in two Premier 5 level hard court events - both in 2017 - but is yet to reach the last eight at Indian Wells.
Serena Williams: A two-time winner of this event, she last reached the final in 2016. Unlike Slams, when there are more rest days between matches, the 37-year-old's fitness will be tested over a tougher and tighter schedule.
CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW FORM AT INDIAN WELLS (Last 10 Years)
Key To Table: ME (Middle East); Aus (Australian Open); Bei (Beijing); Wuh (Wuhan); USO (US Open); Cin (Cincinnati); Can (Canada); Mia (Miami)
Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive
Last 10 hard court events at Grand Slam, Premier Mandatory & Premier 5 level for selected players
|Carla Suarez Navarro||QF||Rd-2||Rd-2||Rd-1||QF||Rd-1||Rd-3||Rd-2||QF||Rd-2|
|Alison Van Uytvanck||Rd-1||Rd-1||Rd-1||Rd-2||Rd-2||Rd-1|