1. Jelena Jankovic is no stranger to success in Indian Wells. The former World No. 1 captured the 2010 BNP Paribas Open title via a 6-2, 6-4 win over Caroline Wozniacki. The Serbian veteran, an honorary Californian, who owns a home in the San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe, returns to the desert for the 16th time on Thursday, opening her tournament against Irina Falconi. They have only met once before, in 2015, with Jankovic topping the American in Strasbourg, 7-6(6), 6-3.
2. Ryan Harrison arrives in the desert brimming with confidence. The 24 year old recently took out fellow Americans Donald Young and Sam Querrey en route to the Memphis title, and will open with a night-session matchup against Bosnian Damir Dzumhur. Still seeking his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title, Harrison has impressed of late. As a qualifier at the 2016 US Open, he claimed the biggest win of his career with a 6-7(4), 7-5, 7-5, 6-1 upset of fifth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic.
3. Several promising young Americans will be in action on Thursday, including wildcards Reilly Opelka (vs. Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk), Frances Tiafoe (vs. Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic), Bjorn Fratangelo (vs. Australia’s Bernard Tomic), Taylor Townsend (vs. Poland’s Magda Linette) and Jennifer Brady (vs. fellow American Shelby Rogers).
4. Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Lucie Safarova, fresh off their second Australian Open doubles title, will jump into the doubles draw against the American-Romanian combo of Christina McHale/Monica Niculescu.
5. Canadian Vasek Pospisil is here to represent our friends north of the border. The 26 year old battled through the qualifying draw to earn a main draw head-to-head with Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu. Pospisil is unbeaten in two previous meetings against his foe, but Lu is far from a pushover. He famously upset Andy Roddick in reaching the Wimbledon quarters in 2010.