The ATP Tour returns to Indian Wells for the penultimate ATP Masters 1000 occasion of the season on the BNP Paribas Open, the place within the absence of the previous 5 champions the favourites arrive with little earlier success within the desert. Following its cancellation in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the occasion was rescheduled this 12 months to be held in October.
The highest two seeds are Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas and each are bidding for a maiden Indian Wells trophy. The FedEx ATP Race To Turin heats up within the Californian desert with a string of contenders determined to strengthen their declare to a Nitto ATP Finals berth. ATPTour.com seems at 10 issues to look at this week in Indian Wells.
1) Latest Main Champion Medvedev Leads Pack: Sizzling on the heels of the most important title of his profession on the US Open and subsequent crew success on the Laver Cup, the Russian seems to take care of his momentum on US soil and declare his second Masters 1000 trophy of the season.
The World No. 2, who defeated Reilly Opelka for the Toronto Masters 1000 trophy, has additionally claimed titles in Marseille and Mallorca. He’ll try so as to add one other at Indian Wells as the highest seed, the place he’ll try to construct on a modest 3-3 file.
2) Tsitsipas Circling: In solely his third look within the BNP Paribas Open, the Greek star arrives because the second seed. The 23-year-old has proven nice consistency at Masters 1000 occasions this season, advancing to at the least the quarter-finals in 5 of the primary six occasions at this degree.
Tsitsipas received his first Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo, the place he didn’t lose a set, and can attempt to declare his second in Indian Wells, the place success has eluded him up to now (1-2 file). The second seed fell within the third spherical of the US Open earlier than serving to Crew Europe clinch the Laver Cup in Boston.
3) FedEx ATP Race To Turin Heats Up: A number of gamers try to stake their declare to one of many remaining spots on the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held on the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November. Following his maiden hard-court title and his fifth trophy of the season in San Diego, Norway’s Casper Ruud strikes into eighth within the Race.
On account of seventh-placed Rafael Nadal’s absence in Turin as a consequence of harm, the reduce is successfully ninth within the Race, with latest Metz champion Hubert Hurkacz, US Open semi-finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime and Sunday’s Sofia champion Jannik Sinner eager for a powerful displaying in Indian Wells to remain in rivalry.
4) #NextGenATP Debuts: Because the BNP Paribas Open has not been held since 2019, there are a number of #NextGenATP stars who will make their debut on the Masters 1000 occasion. Umag champion Carlos Alcaraz and Parma titlist Sebastian Korda lead the bunch.
Alcaraz reached his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final in New York final month, following a five-set upset of World No. 3 Tsitsipas, whereas Korda superior to the fourth spherical at a significant for the second time at Wimbledon in July. Newport finalist Jenson Brooksby, his compatriot Zachary Svajda, Danish teenager Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune and Italian Lorenzo Musetti are the opposite #NextGenATP names set to make their primary draw debuts at Indian Wells.
5) New Champion Incoming: A primary-time BNP Paribas Open singles champion is assured in 2021. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic just isn’t taking part in and 2019 finalists, reigning champion Dominic Thiem and five-time champion Roger Federer, are injured. Thiem introduced in August he would miss the rest of the season as a consequence of a proper wrist harm. Will Cincinnati titlist Alexander Zverev, Russian star Andrey Rublev or Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini seize the chance to make their mark within the desert?
6) Zverev Poised For Deep Run: One other participant integral to Crew Europe’s Laver Cup triumph, Zverev has been on a red-hot run since his fourth-round Wimbledon departure. The German went on a 16-match successful streak – capturing a Tokyo Olympics singles gold medal (d. Khachanov) and his fifth Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati (d. Rublev) – earlier than Novak Djokovic stopped him within the US Open semi-finals. Whereas but to move the Spherical of 16 within the desert (5-4 file) Zverev has received 17 of his previous 18 matches.
8) Followers Relish Return To The Desert: After the cancellation of Indian Wells in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic additionally compelled the postponement of the 2021 version from March to October. It makes for a welcome return for followers, given the occasion has been voted by gamers because the Masters 1000 Event of the Yr for the previous six years it was held.
9) Doubles Area Stacked: Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic have already received 9 titles collectively this season together with Masters 1000 trophies in Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome, in addition to Wimbledon and a Tokyo Olympics gold medal. The highest seeds in Indian Wells head a loaded doubles draw forward of second seeds, US Open champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury.
This 12 months’s Halle Open runners-up Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz reunite, whereas Doha-winning Russians Rublev and Aslan Karatsev and Italians Jannik Sinner and Berrettini crew up. World No. 13 Denis Shapovalov joins forces once more with former World No. 3 in doubles Rohan Bopanna, whereas Reilly Opelka and Alex de Minaur are a first-time pairing.
10) Murray Leads Wild Playing cards Into Battle: In his first outing at Indian Wells since 2017, the 2009 runner-up Andy Murray is without doubt one of the 5 primary draw wild playing cards. Murray has compiled a 25-12 file within the desert since his debut in 2006 and reached his first tour-level quarter-final in practically two years two weeks in the past week in Metz.
The opposite wild playing cards are #NextGenATP People Brooksby and Zachary Svajda, 2017 semi-finalist Jack Sock and #NextGenATP Dane Rune. Former World No. 8 and four-time ATP Tour titlist Sock reached his first tour-level quarter-final since 2018 in Newport final month.