World’s Best Players to Contend for Coveted Indian Wells Title
Serena Williams Eyes Third BNP Paribas Open Crown in Her Return to Tour;
Five-Time BNP Paribas Open Champs Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic Seek Record Sixth Trophy
INDIAN WELLS, Calif., January 24, 2018 – The BNP Paribas Open, to be held March 5-18 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, has released its entry lists today, which are highlighted by eight former BNP Paribas Open Champions and the current World No. 1s on both Tours. The announcement coincides with the kick-off to Tennis Season in the Coachella Valley, as the area prepares to host the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and WTA Premier Mandatory event of the season. The 2018 tournament will showcase the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in “Full Bloom,” and demonstrate to players, fans and visitors why the BNP Paribas Open has been named Tournament of the Year on both Tours for four consecutive years.
- Serena Returns – Two-time BNP Paribas Open Champion (1999, 2001) Serena Williams makes her much-anticipated return to the WTA Tour following a 14-month absence surrounding the birth of her daughter. After reaching the semi-finals in 2015 and the finals in 2016, Williams will aim to become the first WTA player to win three singles titles at the BNP Paribas Open. In addition, her sister Venus, currently ranked No. 5 in the world, will also return to Indian Wells looking to improve upon her impressive run to the quarterfinals in 2017.
- Roger and Novak Drive for Six – Defending Champion Roger Federer looks to improve on his already sterling record in the desert, where he has posted 57 match wins and collected five tournament titles (2004-2006, 2012, 2017), a feat matched only by ATP rival Novak Djokovic (2008, 2011, 2014-2016). Federer, the current World No. 2, has continued his winning ways in 2018, with an impressive showing during the first week of the Australian Open that has him poised to defend his 2017 title in Melbourne. Djokovic has looked strong in his return to the court after an extended absence due to injury during the second half of the 2017 season.
- Former Champions Aim to Repeat Success – The 2018 BNP Paribas Open entry lists include eight former champions, including the current World No. 1s on both Tours – Simona Halep (2015), who is seeking her first Grand Slam title in Melbourne, and Rafael Nadal (2007, 2009, 2013) on the men’s side who won two Grand Slam titles in 2017 on his way to reclaiming the top spot in the rankings. Defending Champion Elena Vesnina, Caroline Wozniacki (2011) and Maria Sharapova (2006, 2013) round out the list of former champions looking to recapture the magic in Tennis Paradise.
- All the Brightest Stars Shine – Each Top 10 player from both the ATP World Tour and WTA is entered for the 2018 BNP Paribas Open. A number of Top 10 contenders on the WTA side will be looking for their first title in the desert, including 2017 Wimbledon Champion Garbiñe Muguruza and 2016 US Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova. Americans Coco Vandeweghe – the current World No. 9 – and Jack Sock, who made his Top 10 debut at the end of the 2017 season, will also be eyeing their first Indian Wells trophy. On the ATP front, World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov will look to continue the momentum from a strong 2017 season, while 2016 US Open Champion Stan Wawrinka continues his return from an injury that sidelined him much of the 2017 season.
- Fan Favorites Highlight Deep Field – A number of stars on both Tours will look to make a splash in the early part of the 2018 season with a career-boosting title in Indian Wells, including Australian Ashleigh Barty who looked strong in Melbourne and her fellow countryman Nick Kyrgios, who will aim to take home his first Masters 1000 title after a strong start to the 2018 season that included a title in Brisbane. 2017 US Open Champion Sloane Stephens will return to the desert after missing the event last year with an injury, while her opponent in that final, Madison Keys, will also look to capitalize on her strong showing in New York last August. The popular Argentine Juan Martin del Potro is also searching for his first Indian Wells crown, after having reached the finals in 2013.
The remaining spots in the draws will be filled by the winners of the Qualifying Tournament (March 5-7) and the Oracle Challenger Series, as well as Wildcards, which will be announced in the coming weeks.