Azarenka aims for Indian Wells repeat
Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka arrives for her title defence at Indian Wells seeking another victory to take her closer to regaining the world No 1 ranking.
A title repeat on the hard courts of the California desert won't send Azarenka back to the top of the heap, but it could set the stage for a showdown with current No 1 Serena Williams later in March in Miami. Once again, Williams and her sister Venus are skipping the BNP Paribas Open, where other notable absentees include China's Li Na. World No 5 Li is still battling the nagging effects of the left ankle injury she suffered in losing the Australian Open final to Azarenka. Women's main draw play in the combined WTA and ATP Masters tournament begins on Wednesday, although the top 32 seeds all enjoy first-round byes.
World No 3 Maria Sharapova, routed in straight sets by Azarenka in last year's final, is seeded second ahead of Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska and Germany's Angelique Kerber. Roger Federer is the defending men's champion, and seeded second behind world No 1 Novak Djokovic.