2012 BNP Paribas Open Day 2 Preview: Men's Draw Begins, Plus Victoria Azarenka On Stadium Court

Roger Federer, now the No. 3 ranked men's player in the world, is among a star-studded field in the men's draw at the 2012 BNP Paribas Open, which begins on Thursday at Indian Wells. The women's draw got underway on Wednesday.

Federer, who won at Dubai last weekend for his 72nd career singles tournament, has grown to love the BNP Paribas Open and the quiet desert atmosphere.

“It’s a tournament that I’ve grown to love a lot over the years,” Federer said on Wednesday. “I used to like coming here, but I wasn’t a crazy golfer when I was younger or liked the peace and calmness. I was more a guy who liked New York or Miami or sort of places where something was happening, especially as a teenager, so when I came here it was almost a bit too quiet for me."

With nearly all of the ranked players getting byes until the second round, the first few days feature many lesser known players battling it out. Here is Thursday's schedule on Stadium Court, which begins at 11 a.m. PST:

Women's - No. 57 Alexandra Dulgheru (Romania) vs. No. 100 Irina Falconi (USA)

Men's - No. 97 Paolo Lorenzi (Italy) vs. Robby Ginepri (USA)

Women's Doubles - Victoria Azarenka (No. 1 in singles, from Belarus) / Petra Kvitova (Czech Repubic) vs. Natalie Grandin (Russia) / Vladimira Uhlirova (Czech Republic)

Men's - No. 85 Sam Querrey vs. Tim Smyczek

Then, at night on Stadium Court, to begin not before 7 p.m.:

Women's - No. 42 Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) vs. No. 75 Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA)

Men's - No. 72 Ryan Harrison (USA) vs. No. 82 Flavio Cipolla

The Tennis Channel will begin coverage, with eight hours per day of action from March 10 through March 15. On Friday, March 16, Tennis Channel and ESPN2 will split the coverage, with ABC providing final weekend coverage. In addition, much of the tournament will be streamed live at ESPN3.com.

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