Three Dark Horses In Women's Draw To Win 2024 Indian Wells Open

Three Dark Horses In Women's Draw To Win 2024 Indian Wells Open

by Nurein Ahmed

Since 1991, no WTA player has successfully defended the Indian Wells crown, which adds a ripple of excitement and unpredictability for the 2024 edition.

If recent history prevails again, then there is the likelihood that we might see a first-time WTA 1000 champion. Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, and defending champion Elena Rybakina are touted to lead the pack as the main favorites, with Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula not far off.

But in this article, we shall determine the three women who might have the highest chance of sprinigng a surprise and even win this tournmnet. The formbook has been one of the main factors in compiling this list, so it might not surprise many people.

3. Danielle Collins

Danielle Collins is pulling the curtain down on her career this season but hasn't confirmed her final tournament. Nevertheless, Collins is clearly making the most of her time on tour this season with a series of gutsy performances.

She reached the quarterfinals in each of her last two tournaments and could have done a lot of damage had it not been for her low ranking, meaning she was slated to play qualifying matches.

At Indian Wells, Collins will have the luxury of earning a direct main draw spot and might savor her best tennis for the tournament. The only question mark coming to Indian Wells pertains to her fitness after retiring in Austin.

2. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Pavlyuchenkoa will turn 33 this season, but this is her 19th season on the professional scene. She's massively underrated and had it not been for a chronic knee injury that scuppered her late-career peak in 2021, maybe things could have turn out a lot differently for the former French Open finalist.

But she's healthy again and will enter the Indian Wells draw with her best ranking post-surgery (up to 24th in live rankings). The Russian has made the quarterfinals or better in four WTA events already this year and has a good chance of mining gold in the desert.

1. Jelena Ostapenko

Jelena Ostapenko is a former semifinalist in Indian Wells and owns a victory over Iga Swiatek at this tournament. Her first-strike tennis is tailor-made for these courts.

And she's enjoyed a renaissance of some sort this season, winning two titles and re-entering the Top 10. Not many players can match Ostapenko's 16-4 record for the season and is rightly the No. 1 dark horse in the Indian Wells draw.


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