Maria has a brief respite from the eternal conundrum of "to challenge or not to challenge," but our wheels are turning rapidly as we contemplate the WTA draw.  We'll mention five potential narratives, any or all of which could define the women's tournament, before inserting a sixth "narrative" for your amusement.1)  How much will we miss Serena?  Her unfailimg presence here cloaked this event in the majestic aura of a "fifth Slam."  In fact, Miami was Serena's private tournament during the last decade, when she won it five times and finished runner-up to Azarenka in 2009.  Jurassic Park certainly won't be the same without the Tyrannosaurus Rex (Regina?), but will her absence significantly overshadow the event?  This question could be substantially answered by...2)  Can the Belgians bounce back?  Both Clijsters and Henin will be eager to erase the memories of their fleeting sojourns in Indian Wells, but the draw didn't do them any favors.  Henin will have to rediscover her Australian form in order to survive Dementieva in the second round (first-round report on Justine not overly encouraging), while Clijsters finds herself sharing a quarter with the suddenly awakening Jankovic.  Even before she reaches that stage, however, she'll probably have to depose the defending champion...3)  Azarenka can attack, but can she defend?  This tournament should tell us a substantial amount about Azarenka's mental state, never her strength but recently improving.  For the first time in her career, she returns to a major event as the defending champion.  I don't expect her to win it again or even reach the final, but I'd like to see Vika maintain her composure and deliver a gritty performance in her intimidating section.  Only when she can handle that sort of pressure in this type of situation will she be psychologically ready to challenge the veterans' stranglehold on the Slams.  Prominent among those aforementioned veterans is the woman who defeated her in Dubai...4)  Is Venus still rising?  In 2009, she won the Dubai and Acapulco tournaments consecutively but then didn't win a tournament for the rest of the season.  (Little sister didn't help a great deal, defeating her in the Miami semifinals, the Wimbledon final, and twice in one week at the year-end championships.)  In 2010, she repeated the Dubai-Acapulco double; this time, can she capitalize on the momentum while Serena hones her nail-polishing skills?  A gambler's nightmare, she could record a series of inspiring wins, keep the title in the family, and turn this event into a springboard for one more assault on the All England Club.  Or she could fall in the second round to talented Romanian Sorana Cirstea, which would help answer the question of...5)  Will the upset bug continue?  Indian Wells witnessed an even longer list of stunners than usual (see "Surprise, California?" entry below), in part because of an imbalanced draw that juxtaposed marquee players with dangerous dark horses while leaving other sections open to all comers.  The Miami draw has a similar appearance at first glance, so we could be headed towards another wild fortnight.  Typically, however, this tournament restores order after the California chaos and provides a more reliable litmus test than its predecessor for the current form of most participants.5+1)  How much magic is in Maria's outfit?  After apparently spending the first four games adjusting to her unaccustomed glamor, Julia Goerges dismissed Ayumi Morita in straight sets while wearing the outfit designed for Sharapova.  She faces Elena Vesnina next and could play Jankovic in the third round.  If she scores that upset, we really will start believing that you are what you wear.***We'll be back tomorrow with an ATP "5+1"; in the meantime, enjoy the start of the second round!  If you're going to the tournament, shout some "ajdes" for Ana on my behalf--or say some prayers if the situation demands it.  ;)