The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells might not be a Grand Slam tournament, but it’s certainly treated like one. This is a 1000-level event for both the men and the women, which means a lot is at stake in the place known as Tennis Paradise. With a star-studded field, this isn’t a tournament that we don’t want to miss.
Indian Wells took place in its scheduled spring slot for the first time in three years.
It’s worth looking back to that 2019 tournament just to emphasise the vast sea change that has occurred since. World number one at the time, Novak Djokovic, lost to Philipp Kohlschreiber, while Daniil Medvedev, seeded only 14th, won just five games in defeat to Filip Krajinovic in round three. The final would be played out between a confident Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem, with the latter landing the upset. Neither man has even played in the last nine months.
Thiem is one of three surprise winners in a row at this event. Once dominated by the Big Three, who won 13 of 14 editions between 2004 and 2017, the last three editions have been won by Juan Martin Del Potro, Dominic Thiem and, last autumn, Cameron Norrie. Each was winning his first Masters title.
Rafael Nadal (+350): As previously mentioned, Nadal is on top of the world. After beating Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final, the Spaniard proved that the two-set comeback was no fluke by beating him 6-3, 6-3 in the Mexican Open semifinals. Medvedev might be known as the best hard-court player globally, but not right now. With the 35-year-old playing at such a high level, it’s interesting seeing him with odds this favourable.
Iga Swiatek (+550): It’s never fun taking the favourite to win an event, but these are good odds. Swiatek was unbelievable at the Qatar Open towards the end of February, winning a title after earning commanding, straight-set victories over Daria Kasatkina, Aryna Sabalenka, Maria Sakkari and Kontaveit. The 20-year-old won her first Grand Slam title on clay in 2020, but she’s coming into her own on hard courts.
Were the predictions correct?
In Women’s Singles, the betting odds were favourable to Iga Swiatek, and in the end, she did not disappoint anyone. The 20-year-old from Poland defeated No.6 Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-1 to win her fifth career title. Swiatek has now swept the first two WTA 1000s of the season; three weeks ago, she won Doha.
In Men’s Singles, Rafael Nadal had the probability of winning the title. But to everyone’s shock, Taylor Fritz from the USA stunned Rafael Nadal 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) to win the ATP Indian Wells Masters and end the 21-time Grand Slam champion’s perfect 20-0 run to start 2022.
Fritz, ranked 20th in the world, claimed his second career title and his first at the elite Masters 1000 level while denying Nadal a record-equalling 37th Masters crown.