Men's single play begins at BNP Paribas Open
Matches filling Indian Wells Tennis garden with spectators
Men's main draw singles play in the 2013 BNP Paribas Open will begin today at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden with 16 matches, while the first round of women's singles play will conclude.
Like in the women's draw, all 32 seeded men's players received first-round byes. Play is set to begin at 11 a.m. with four matches. The lone men's night match will pit American Ryan Harrison against Go Soeda of Japan.
In women's play, the oldest player in the 96-player singles draw, 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan, will face 28-year-old Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan. Americans Madison Keys and Melanie Oudin will meet in the night match.
Wednesday's winners included Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, who reached the tournament's final in 2007 and 2008, and Mallory Burdette of Jackson, Ga., who needed to win two qualifying matches to reach the main draw.
"At the start of the match, I was able to get the break quite early as she made a few mistakes, but then I was a bit slow and I gave her the chance to get into the match," Kuznetsova said after her 6-3, 6-1 victory over Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic.
"But then I started to play my game again and move better and I managed to control the match after that."
Kuznetsova was second on the Women's Tennis Association's rankings in 2007, missed the second half of the 2012 season because of a knee injury and fell out of the top 80 earlier this year. Reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open helped her rise to 46th.
"I'm happy to be back -- this is the main thing," Kuznetsova said. "Every day I just try the best I can and things are coming along pretty well. I feel really balanced within myself, which is important, and I actually have my dog here in Indian Wells, which is great."
Burdette defeated fellow American Jill Craybas, 6-2, 6-1, in 59 minutes.
"Today's match was awesome," said Burdette, a 22-year-old former Stanford star who turned pro after reaching the third round of last year's U.S. Open.
"I felt good going out there on the court because I had already played two matches there in qualifying and in that stadium once, so I think it was a good thing I had those matches under my belt. There weren't a lot of nerves out there. I knew what to expect."
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