INDIAN WELLS, March 10, 2015
There are nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events throughout the calendar and the first falls in March at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden with its stunning backdrop of Southern California’s Santa Rosa Mountains. The Tennis Garden is one the best equipped facilities on the ATP Tour with Hawk Eye Systems on all of its eight match courts. Its 16.100-seat stadium is the second biggest purpose-built tennis arena in the world. The BNP Parisbas Open is played on hard courts and is the best attended tennis event outside the four Grand Slams with more than 430.000 visitors during the 23 days of the combined event for women and men. The singles main draw features 96 players battling for the prize money of US-$ 5.381.235. This year the tournament celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Roger Federer has ruled the roost in recent years by winning the event four times between 2004 and 2014. Every one of the big names will be in town again at this year’s edition with world number one Novak Djokovic leading the entry list in order to defend his title.
“Over the past 40 years, the BNP Paribas Open has developed into one of the world’s best sporting events, and a significant reason for that success is the fact that the best players in the world annually come to Indian Wells,” said tournament director Steve Simon. “This year our fans can once again look forward to seeing past BNP Paribas Open Champions such as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, and Caroline Wozniacki, along with hundreds of other world-class tennis players.”
Unfortunately, some of the ATP stars have already announced that they have to withdraw from the tournament. French stars Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who hasn’t participated in a single tournament this season, as well as Gael Monfils are the entry list’s highest ranked players. Both are injured.
Former world number four Juan Martin Del Potro postponed his journey to Indian Wells for one day in order to support his teammates at Argentina’s Davis Cup first round tie against Brazil but eventually had to withdraw from the Masters event. Fans of the current world number 618 still have to wait until Miami to see his comeback after the Argentine had to undergo a wrist surgery. Del Potro’s wild card has been redistributed to Australian teenager and world number 124 Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Tommy Haas’ return to the ATP World Tour has been also delayed. The 36-year-old German pulled out last Thursday, as he doesn’t feel fit enough to participate after a shoulder injury. Haas played his last match at last year’s French Open at Roland Garros, where he was forced to retire in his first round encounter against Jurgen Zopp. Haas dropped in rankings to 144th position but is allowed to play in the main draw at his first event after his injury – and this will arguably take place in Miami.