Russian world number two Dinara Safina will not meet her compatriot and nemesis Elena Dementieva until at least the final of the Indian Wells WTA tournament after being seeded one in Monday's draw.
In-form Dementieva, who has beaten Safina in their last three meetings, was seeded third and is scheduled to face second-seeded Serb Jelena Jankovic in the last four at Indian Wells.
Safina, whose career haul of nine WTA titles includes four last year, is seeded to meet fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva, the world number six, in the semi-finals.
Serbian world number seven Ana Ivanovic, who hammered Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 6-3 in last year's final at Indian Wells, has been seeded fifth for her title defence.
Although Safina is tied 5-5 with Dementieva in career meetings, she has lost the last three, the most recent a 6-2 2-6 6-1 defeat in the final of the Sydney International in January.
Dementieva, who had clinched the Auckland Classic the previous week, launched her 2009 campaign with a sizzling 15-match winning streak before falling to Serena Williams in the last four at the Australian Open.
Although she has since lost to Amelie Mauresmo in last month's Paris final and to Venus Williams in the Dubai quarter-finals, the elegant Russian has been one of the circuit's top performers this season.
The women's competition at Indian Wells starts on Wednesday with the men's ATP tournament getting under way the following day.