Indian Wells returns with blockbuster line-up

Canada beat Australia in the final of the Davis Cup in Malaga to win the event for the first time in their history. They got off to a strong start as Denis Shapovalov beat Thanasi Kokkinakis in straight sets 6-2 6-4.

The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells is only a few weeks away and the organisers have announced that some of the biggest names in the sport will be competing. The tournament returns to its usual slot in the tennis calendar after two years of disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. After it was cancelled in 2020 organisers had to reschedule the 2021 edition to October due to fears of rising infection rates.

The event is often referred to as the ‘fifth major’ and therefore usually attracts a strong field of elite players. 21-time Grand Slam Champion and recently crowned Australian Open king Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will play at Indian Wells for the first time in three years. His last appearance at the event was in 2019 when he suffered a semi-final defeat to great rival Roger Federer.

British No 1 Cameron Norrie made history in October after he became the first Brit to win the Indian Wells Open. He will be hoping to improve on a disappointing performance at the Australian Open last month after he suffered a shock first round exit.

Novak Djokovic has also added his name to the list of competitors. However, his participation may be in doubt as uncertainty surrounding his Covid-19 vaccination could become an issue. The Wimbledon Champion was deported from Melbourne last month ahead of the Australian Open which prevented him from playing in the Grand Slam. Organisers at Indian Wells have stated that all players much provide proof of full vaccination to play in California, which may cause a problem for Djokovic who is still believed to be unvaccinated.

In the woman’s draw Australian Open Champion & World No 1 Ashleigh Barty headlines the line-up. With US Open Champion and British No 1 Emma Raducanu also among the other competitors.