CoCo Vandeweghe
CoCo Vandeweghe - Photo courtesy of jctabb on Shutterstock

Qualifying play for the BNP Paribas Open begn Monday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden with 48 men and 48 women seeking the 12 spots in each 96-player main singles draw reserved for qualifiers.

The women’s qualifying field includes Californian CoCo Vandeweghe, who reached a career-best ninth on the Women’s Tennis Association singles rankings in 2018 and was a U.S. Open and Australian Open semifinalist in 2017. The 31-year-old Vandeweghe rose 11 spots in the rankings released Monday after reaching the round of 16 in last week’s ATX Open.

Vandeweghe will face German Laura Siegemund in the second match on the Stadium 3 Court. Siegemund is ranked 124th and seeded 24th in qualifying. Vandeweghe is 5-1 against Siegemund, who turned 35 Friday, with the only loss coming in their most recent meeting in the first round of the 2020 Australian Open.

Hungarian Dalma Galfi is the top-seeded player in qualifying and will face Croatian Ana Konjuh at 11 a.m. on the Stadium 6 Court. The 24-year-old Galfi is ranked 80th and reached the third round of the U.S. Open and second round of Wimbledon last year.

The 25-year-old Konjuh is ranked 157th. Her career-high ranking is 20th, achieved July 31, 2017. She played little from 2018 through 2020 after undergoing four surgeries on her right elbow.

The men’s qualifying field includes former USC and Orange High School standout Steve Johnson, who will face fellow Californian Zachary Svajda in the fourth match on the Stadium 2 Court.

The 33-year-old Johnson is 137th on the Association of Tennis Professionals rankings, his lowest since Feb. 17, 2014. Svajda, a 20-year-old from San Diego, is ranked 227th. He won the U.S. Tennis Association’s Boys’ 18 National Championship in 2019 and 2021.

Serbian Dusan Lajovic is the top-seeded player in qualifying and will face American Tennys Sandgren in the final match on the Stadium 2 Court.

The 32-year-old Lajovic rose four spots to 71st in the rankings after reaching the quarterfinals of last week’s Movistar Chile Open. His highest career ranking is 23rd, reach in 2019, and best Grand Slam singles performances are reaching the fourth round of the French Open in 2014 and Australian Open in 2021.

Sandgren received a wild card into qualifying. The 31-year-old has not played in the singles main draw of an ATP Tour event since February 2022 and is ranked 224th after reaching a career-high 41st in 2019. He is named after his great-grandfather and not the sport he plays or the state where he was raised, resides and went to college, Tennessee.

Players winning two matches in qualifying will advance to the main draw. Players losing in Monday’s qualifying matches will receive $5,150, while the winners will receive at least $9,440.

Tickets are $10. Gates open at 10 a.m. with play beginning at 11 a.m.

Men’s and women’s main draw play is set to begin Wednesday.

Organizers announced Sunday that Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked men’s player, had withdrawn. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida, tweeted Friday at that the Department of Homeland Security had rejected Djokovic’s bid for a wavier from the requirement that foreign air travelers must be vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the U.S.

Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, had written President Joe Biden requesting a waiver for Djokovic, allowing him to play in the Miami Open, which begins March 20.

“Mr. Djokovic is a world-class athlete in peak physical condition who is not at high-risk of severe complications from COVID-19,” Scott and Rubio wrote. “It seems both illogical and misaligned with the opinions of your own administration to not grant him the waiver he requests so that he may travel to the U.S. to compete in a professional event.

“The lack of public health risk, along with the clear benefit of his participation in an event that will be a major driver for our local economies should make the decision before you simple and serve as a precedent for others in his position, while hopefully leading to the full reversal of this mandate for other foreign visitors who wish to legally travel to our great nation.”

There was no immediate response to an email to the White House seeking comment.

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