The 2021 tennis season is coming to a close, and what better way to close it off than the long-anticipated BNP Paribas Open? Also known as the Indian Wells Masters, this tourney is making its triumphant return. It’s been 2 and a half years since the Californian desert stadium last hosted tournament play. Qualifiers begin on October 4th and the main draws start on the 7th. As one of the last high-level tournaments of the year, expect competition to be fierce. Join us at Tennis Express as we take a sneak peek at who is looking to make a final splash for the year.
No Big Three, Still a Thrilling ATP
For the first time since 2000, not one of the “Big Three” will be attending the BNP Open. Novak Djokovic, a 5 time BNP Open winner, recently announced his withdrawal from the tourney. With Djokovic’s absence, it’s open season for the championship now. Get ready for an unpredictable and exciting event.
I am sorry I won’t get to see my fans in Indian Wells and play in the desert, my favourite place to go. I hope to see you next year! @BNPPARIBASOPEN
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) September 29, 2021
US Open champion Daniil Medvedev will no doubt be looking to cap off his amazing year with a victory at the Indian Wells. Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev is also hoping to add more prestige to his name. Other top 10 ATP competitors joining the fray include Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, and Matteo Berrettini. With a wild card entry, former world No.1 Andy Murray now has a chance to make a strong last impression for the year. Carlos Alcaraz will also make his Indian Wells Masters debut this October.
WTA Packing Real Star Power
While fan favorites Ash Barty and Naomi Osaka have withdrawn from Indian Wells, there is still a lot of star power coming in from the WTA. Defending champion Bianca Andreesccu has some amazing competition ahead of her. Top competitors entering this year include Karolina Pliskova, Maria Sakkari, and Aryna Sabalenka. Following up on her amazing run to the US Open finals, Leylah Fernandez will make her Indian Wells debut this year.
Meanwhile, US Open champ Emma Raducanu received a wildcard, alongside former WTA No.1 Kim Clijsters. Barbora Krejcikova is better known for her doubles play, but let’s not forget she’s a US Open quarter-finalist and also a Roland Garros champion. Together with her partner in crime Katerina Siniakova, they’re no doubt looking to go the distance in doubles once again.
Watching the Indian Wells Masters
California’s Indian Wells Tennis Garden is a sight to behold. Its presence is like an oasis in the desert. If you’re looking to make a retreat to paradise, be sure to follow the necessary precautions. The BNP website outlines their entry requirements to watching the action in person this year. Entry to the venue will not be permitted unless all requirements are met. Be sure to plan ahead before buying your tickets!
For viewers at home, you can catch the action online with Tennis Channel+ or the Tennis TV app. Matches will also be televised live on Tennis Channel. If you’re a sneaky fellow, try taking advantage of a Hulu premium trial while your favorite players are scheduled to play! Whether you’re out in the Californian desert or watching at home, the most important thing is to enjoy yourself. Be sure to visit TennisExpress.com for the latest in tennis apparel, equipment, and more.