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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday March 10, 2024

Indian Wells – Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki are suddenly surging in the California desert.

The pair of fast friends, both new moms on the tour who have recently returned to the WTA Tour after maternity leave, set a 16th clash on Sunday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Tennis Express

It will be a welcome clash for fans and for the pair of WTA legends.

Wozniacki and Kerber are both at Indian Wells with their children, but Wozniacki told reporters that their kids have not met because one is carrying a cold – deciding to play it save, they plan to bring their kids together at Miami, for now they will reunite on the court with a spot in the quarterfinals at the BNP Paribas Open on the line.

“I mean, it's going to be a great match,” Wozniacki, the 2011 Indian Wells champion, said after defeating Katie Volynets (6-2 4-6 6-0) in three sets on Sunday night. “We've played each other so much. We know each other extremely well. There's going to be no secrets out there.”

Kerber, the 2019 Indian Wells runner-up, holds the lifetime edge or 8-7 against her friend – but they have not met since 2018.

“We know each other's games really well, we practice together all the time. So it's not like one of us will be going out there feeling like there is a clear favorite,” Wozniacki said. “I think both of us are going out there thinking it's a 50/50 match, and whoever grabs the opportunities best is going to win that match. I think that's the mindset of both of us I think going out there.”

Kerber, who defeated Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 7-5 on Sunday, has ticked another level this week in California. She was 1-6 in her first seven matches of her comeback, but has ramped up her aggression and looked like the Kerber of old on court at Indian Wells.

She has notched back-to-back wins, against No.10-seeded Jelena Ostapenko and No.17-seeded Kudermetova.

It’s remarkable that Wozniacki, 33, and Kerber, 36, have come so far so fast in their comebacks. Wozniacki has played just 14 matches since commencing her comeback in Montreal last August. Kerber has ten matches under her belt, all this season.

A quarterfinal appearance at Indian Wells will represent a reward for a job well done for the winner. No matter who wins, hope is high that 2024 will be a successful season for both.

In addition to Wozniacki and Kerber, two other moms are still alive in the draw. Naomi Osaka and Elina Svitolina will contest third-round matches on Monday. A mom has never won the title at the BNP Paribas Open, and just three moms, Margaret Court, Yvonne Goolagong and Kim Clijsters have won Grand Slam titles after becoming mothers.