It was blustery and cloudy at the BNP Paribas Open on Friday, but don’t worry. The temperatures will heat up in the coming days.
So will the tennis.
It was a rather routine day for the top-seeded women at the BNP Paribas Open on Friday. No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova and No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska both won 6-2, 6-1, and fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova outlasted Olga Govortsova 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. In one of the more entertaining matches of the day, Svetlana Kuznetsova came back to beat No. 18 seed Jelena Jankovic 0-6, 6-2, 7-5, and American qualifier Mallory Burdette upset No. 23 seed Tamira Paszek.
Notable men’s winners included Americans James Blake and Bobby Reynolds.
The tournament will kick into high gear Saturday because it’s the first day both the top-seeded men and women are in action. Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Victoria Azarenka and Sloane Stephens are all scheduled to play on stadium court.
All eyes will be on Nadal, who will be playing his first official match on a hard court since beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami last March. In the first match of the evening session, he will take on 20-year-old American Ryan Harrison, ranked 73rd in the world. They have never played each other.
In other high-profile matches, Federer will take on Denis Istomin, Azarenka will play two-time BNP Paribas Open champion Daniela Hantuchova and Stephens will face Urszula Radwanska.