Kim Clijsters vs. Justine Henin? Not until final at BNP Paribas Open
On the women's side, where main draw play begins Wednesday: The Belgian comeback girls, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, are on opposite sides and wouldn’t meet unless they get to the final. Henin, a wild-card entrant, is unseeded and will play a first-round match against Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia in a first-round match Wednesday (third on Stadium 1 court, where play begins at 11 a.m.).
If Henin wins, she would face 31st-seeded Gisela Dulko of Argentina in the second round. The 14th-seeded Clijsters gets a first-round bye and will play the winner of a first-round match between Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic and Andrea Petkovic of Germany.
On the men’s side, where main draw play begins Thursday: fifth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko could have an interesting second-rounder against Ernests Gulbis of Latvia and U.S. Davis Cup teammates John Isner and Sam Querrey could meet in the third round. Top-seeded Roger Federer could get flashy Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in the third round and maybe top-ranked American Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals and fourth-seeded Andy Murray of Great Britain in the semifinals. Third-seeded Rafael Nadal, the defending champion, has a first-round bye and is guaranteed to face a qualifier in the second round.
Also on Wednesday's schedule is a match between two young Americans, Vania King of Long Beach and Christina McHale (third on Stadium 2), wild-card recipient Alexa Glatch of Newport Beach will face Elena Baltacha of Britain (fifth on Stadium 1).
For a complete list and Wednesday's full schedule, go to the BNP Paribas Open website.
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Kim Clijsters returns during her match against Ana Ivanovic during the semifinals of the Billie Jean King Cup on March 1. Credit: Jason Szenes / EPA