(January 27, 2016) Indian Wells, Calif., Jan. 27, 2016 – The BNP Paribas Open to be held March 7-20, 2016 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, has released its entry lists, which are highlighted by 10 former BNP Paribas Open and 14 Grand Slam Singles Champions, it was announced today by Chief Executive Officer Raymond Moore.
On the women’s side, the entry list is led by World No. 1, 21-time Grand Slam Champion and two-time BNP Paribas Open winner Serena Williams (1999, 2001). This year she is joined by her sister, World No. 10 and nine-time Grand Slam Champion Venus Williams, in the field.
“We are thrilled that Venus Williams, one of the greatest women’s players in the history of the game, is returning to play in the BNP Paribas Open,” said Moore. “Our fans embraced Serena last year, and we expect nothing less for Venus when she returns to compete at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.”
They are accompanied by a number of former BNP Paribas Open Champions including Defending Champion and World No. 2 Simona Halep, five-time Grand Slam Champion and World No. 5 Maria Sharapova (2006, 2013), and a quartet of former World No. 1 ranked players including two-time Grand Slam Champion Victoria Azarenka (2012), 2008 French Open Champion Ana Ivanovic (2008), Jelena Jankovic (2010), and Caroline Wozniacki (2011). Top 10 ranked tennis players and Grand Slam Singles Champions also on the entry list include Garbine Muguruza (3), 2014 BNP Paribas Open finalist Agnieszka Radwanska (4), Angelique Kerber (6), two-time Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova (7), Lucie Safarova (9), two-time Grand Slam Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and 2011 US Open Champion Sam Stosur.
The men’s entry list is led by World No. 1, 10-time Grand Slam Champion, and four-time and Defending BNP Paribas Open Champion Novak Djokovic (2008, 2011, 2014, 2015); World No. 3, 17-time Grand Slam Champion, and four-time BNP Paribas Open Champion Roger Federer (2004-2006, 2012); and World No. 5, 14-time Grand Slam Champion and three-time BNP Paribas Open Champion Rafael Nadal (2007, 2009, 2013). In addition, all of the remaining top 10 ranked men’s players are entered, including two-time Grand Slam Champion Andy Murray (2), 2015 French Open Champion Stan Wawrinka (4), Tomas Berdych (6), Kei Nishikori (7), David Ferrer (8), Richard Gasquet (9), and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (10). The 2014 US Open Champion, Marin Cilic (13), is also entered in the field.
“Looking at this list of incredible players – Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Murray, the Williams sisters, Halep, Sharapova, Kvitova and so many other talented players – will provide two weeks of great tennis,” said Moore. “Our fans will once again be treated to watching players in Indian Wells, a location that truly makes the event one of the most unique and best venues to watch professional tennis – this is tennis paradise.”
The remaining spots in the draws will be filled by winners of the Qualifying tournament (WTA – March 7 & 8, ATP – March 8 & 9) and Wildcards, which will be announced in the coming weeks.
View the full player entry list.
(January 13, 2106) FILA has extended its Premier Sponsorship agreement with the BNP Paribas Open, the largest ATP World Tour and WTA combined two-week event in the world to be held March 7-20, 2016 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, it was announced today by Chief Executive Officer Raymond Moore.
With the multiyear partnership, FILA will continue to serve as the Official Apparel and Footwear Sponsor of the Tournament, providing custom designed uniforms to event staff, volunteers, ball kids and officials. FILA will continue to have a retail store on-site at the BNP Paribas Open, offering an enhanced shopping experience for spectators. At this year’s tournament, FILA will unveil its 2016 collection of tennis apparel and new performance tennis shoe, the Cage Delirium, as well as provide t-shirts for the Kids’ Day School Team Tennis Challenge.
FILA will also expand its role at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden (IWTG) throughout the year, outfitting teaching pro and tennis club staff, while providing local area high schools and junior colleges with the option of a team purchase program. FILA will become involved with the IWTG junior academy and local National Junior Tennis League events, as winners will receive FILA tennis apparel and footwear packages.
“FILA’s sponsorship of the BNP Paribas Open is the cornerstone of the brand’s tennis event marketing efforts,” said Jon Epstein, President of FILA North America. “We are thrilled to extend our relationship with an event that is best in class, and continue to build on this terrific partnership. We look forward to our year-round involvement at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.”
“I’m excited to continue our long-standing partnership with FILA while also broadening our agreement to include a year-round presence at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden,” said Moore. “Whether it is through their retail space, outfitting our volunteers, or via activations at events like Kids’ Day, FILA is always seeking to connect with our patrons and create a more engaging and dynamic experience at the BNP Paribas Open, and we greatly value that in a sponsor.”
Indian Wells, London-Queen’s, Doha and St. Petersburg Voted 2015 ATP World Tour Tournaments Of The Year
From the ATP World Tour: (January 7, 2016) LONDON – The ATP has announced the Tournaments of the Year in the 2015 ATP World Tour Awards presented by Moët & Chandon, with the BNP Paribas Open and Aegon Championships joined by the Qatar ExxonMobil Open and St. Petersburg Open as the most favored ATP World Tour events in their respective tournament categories.
The Tournament of the Year awards, voted annually by ATP players, recognise the leading standards set across the three tournament categories on the Tour. Indian Wells repeats at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level, while The Queen’s Club in London wins in its first year as a 500 tournament. In the 250 category, first-time winners Doha and St. Petersburg share honors.
Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “Many congratulations to these four tournaments for setting the standard in their respective categories in 2015. They are each outstanding events in their own right, and this is a fitting recognition, as voted by the players, for all the hard work and dedication that goes into putting on these world class tournaments.”
The BNP Paribas Open retains its title as the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Tournament of the Year. The tournament received the distinction for the first time in 2014, following the debut of its state-of-the-art Stadium 2, additional practice courts and a new shade structure.
In 2015, the BNP Paribas Open continued its on-site improvements, unveiling a newly renovated player restaurant with expanded dining options and free Wi-Fi throughout the site. The tournament welcomed more than 450,000 fans through the gates over the fortnight.
“It is very rewarding for the BNP Paribas Open to be recognized as the 2015 Masters 1000 Tournament of the Year,” said Tournament Director Raymond Moore. “Our event is focused on improving each and every year in all areas and aspects, and receiving this award for the second year in a row is another validation that our actions – such as providing Hawk-Eye electronic line calling technology on every match court – are being appreciated by the players. It only intensifies our desire to reach new heights in 2016 and ensure that the experience at the tournament is nothing short of exceptional.”
The Aegon Championships receives a Tournament of the Year award for a third straight season. It won at the 250 level in 2013-14 before its re-categorisation as an ATP World Tour 500 event for 2015. The Aegon Championships ends Dubai’s seven-year reign at this level.
“To win ATP World Tour 500 tournament of the year in our first year in the category is a huge thrill, a magnificent achievement, and a credit to our tournament team, The Queen’s Club, our sponsors – particularly Aegon, and our broadcast partners,” said Tournament Director Stephen Farrow. “We were up against some of the finest and most popular tournaments on the ATP World Tour, and I am immensely proud that our efforts have been recognised by the players in this way.”
For the first time since 2004 and the fourth time overall (since 1986), two events have been named joint winners in the ATP World Tour 250 category. The Qatar ExxonMobil Open hosts its 24th edition this week, boasting a field that includes four Top 10 players: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer. The St. Petersburg Open, held in September, celebrated its 20th edition in 2015 as it returned to the ATP World Tour calendar following a one-year hiatus.
“Our aim is always to make a great event where players can feel relaxed and at home, where they can perform at their best, where they want to return year after year,” said Karim Alami, Tournament Director of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. “We are always listening to the opinions and feedback from the organisation and from the players and trying to learn from our mistakes and past experiences to keep improving and to keep raising the bar every year. To achieve the recognition of the players for these efforts and be selected by them as the best ATP World Tour 250 tournament for the year 2015 makes us all very proud and gives us the strength and motivation to continue improving and making our event better and better.”
Mikhael Mirilashvili, owner of the St. Petersburg Open, said: “In 2015, the St. Petersburg Open Tournament was revived after a year’s break. That was a landmark event in the sporting life of the city and the country. We are proud that the work of our big renewed team was appreciated on such a high level. I am sure that in the future the level of the tournament will continue to grow and reach new professional heights.”
(October 5, 2015) On Monday, the Board of Directors of the Women’s Tennis Association announced a unanimous decision naming Steve Simon, the Tournament Director and Chief Operating Officer of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Tournament, as the new CEO of the women’s tour. Simon will begin his new position immediately and leave his current post at the end of November.
Simon joined the tournament in 1989 in a sponsorship sales role after working with adidas for six years. He became Tournament Director and COO in 2004. At the end of the 2013 tournament, he and the CEO oversaw the vast expansion of Indian Wells.
“I am exceptionally grateful to both Charlie Pasarell and Raymond Moore for the opportunity they gave me more than 25 years ago to work at the BNP Paribas Open,” said Simon through a news release. “I have cherished my time here, and everyone involved with the event – staff, volunteers, players, officials and many more – who have made this event into the exceptional tournament it has become. I am humbled and excited about the opportunity, and leave the tournament knowing that the team in place, under the guidance of Moore and owner Larry Ellison, will continue to excel and keep the BNP Paribas Open as one of the best events in the world.”
“Steve Simon, with his successful career leading one of tennis’ most prestigious tournaments, is the perfect person to run the WTA,” the WTA Board said in a statement. “Steve produced results, pursued excellence and he kept innovating, making the fan experience even better. He has a very clear vision for the sport and is held in high regard by all.”
Simon replaces Stacey Allaster who announced her resignation on September 22.
(March 22, 2015) INDIAN WELLS, California – After the drawn out drama of the women’s final and over an hour later than planned, defending champion Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer took to the court for their final, and with the anticipation of perhaps another three set thriller on the cards.
First blood though went to the Djokovic, who closed out a ruthless break, for a 4-2 lead, and although Federer asked the question for him to serve it out, he snapped up the first set 6-3.
It was imperative for Federer to get off to a quick start, and it looked as though he would settle, but another loose game helped Djokovic take advantage for an early break at the start of the second.
Djokovic was making the difference in his return games, taking the time away from Federer in the distinctly cooler conditions today than for the majority of the tournament, but Federer needed to settle to try and at least stay in contention, before time ran out to make his move.
Suddenly the momentum shifted as Federer took advantage of a dip in Djokovic’s game to level at 4-4 with a break that got the crowd alive, roaring their approval and silencing the small enthusiastic group of Serbians in the nosebleeds.
Holding in perhaps his most commanding form since the very start of the match, the pressure was very firmly on Djokovic now as the errors started to stack up from the Serbian, as he served to stay in the set. A slightly more confident hold to love brought him into a second set tie-break.
With Djokovic taking the early momentum, Federer slowly got himself back into contention as the pressure got to the defending champion, double-faulting on his serve to bring Federer level at 5-5. A second double fault handed the advantage right back at the Swiss with two serves to come at 6-5. He needed just the one set point to send the final into an electric decider.
Perhaps it was inevitable that the defending champion would come out swinging maybe a little more freely, and quickly took a 2-0 advantage before the nerves seemed to grip him again, opening the door for Federer to charge back in to get the match back on serve.
It was Djokovic who surged to a lead once more, at 5-2, with Federer serving to stay in the championship.
For a match that could so easily have been settled in straight sets, Federer had done well to fight back, but a tired shank gave the Serbian the match points he needed, as he closed out the win 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2, a title defence, and draws level with Federer in terms of titles won here.
Coming first into press, Federer analyzed where the match was won (and in his case lost):
“For a long time I was always trailing. I was putting myself under pressure unnecessarily sometimes on my own serve. But that was, again, a credit to Novak’s great way of returning second serves.
“He’s always going to catch some first serves, especially here where it’s not as fast. I knew it was going to be tough. That was the most disappointing part I was telling myself throughout the match. It’s like where is that return on the first serve? “
He continued: “Midway through the second it started to get better and I got into more rallies, and that’s where I think it became close again. That was tougher for him, because all of a sudden I think I was playing better so he wasn’t getting as many free points. He had to pull back and play a bit more safe. So it was from my side a bit more up and down, and he was just more solid. That’s why he totally deserved to win today, in my opinion.”
Djokovic was presented with a cake celebrating his 50th title, which surpasses coach Boris Becker’s 49 titles, and the World No. 1 described how that felt along with his assessment of the match.
He said: “I thought set and a break and it was a break point for 5‑2 up. I thought I could have done the job earlier. Credit to Roger for fighting through. Showed again why he’s a competitor and champion, somebody that never gives up. When we got to the third set obviously it was anybody’s game.
“I managed to regroup [and] overcome that frustration of handing that tiebreak to him with three double faults in crucial moments. But that’s sport. Obviously under pressure sometimes these things happen and it’s important to regroup, bounce back, and focus on next one.”
He continued: “I’ve got to look forward to get to Miami and have a dinner with Boris. I think it’s on him this time. (Smiling.) I surpassed his 49th title, so that gives a little bit of special spice to this title.”
While Federer is skipping Miami this year, Djokovic will travel on to defend his title and attempt the double once more.
Ros Satar is a British sports journalist and a writer at Livetennis.com.
(March 22, 2015) INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA – It might not have been the final that people wanted, in amongst the hoopla surrounding Serena Williams’ return and subsequent withdrawal in the semi-final, but with 16 minutes gone and only two games on the board, there was no doubt the crowd were going to get their money’s worth, between former champion Jelena Jankovic and World No. 3 Simona Halep.
It was always going to be important for Jankovic to be able to move, and having struggle with injury ahead of the match, she kept the press core in stitches with her lack of preparation, but ultimately bringing in attacking play as well as defence would be the key.
There were early signs of nerves by Halep who struggled for eight minutes as Jankovic put in a pleasing display of aggressive drive volleys and her trademark backhand down the line to take the first game, but failed to consolidate as Halep settled back down quite quickly, as the first passage of play resolved on serve as Halep got the first hold of the day.
Jankovic took the initiative once more, this time managing to consolidate on a break of serve, nudging her into a commanding position at 4-2. With Halep venting her frustration on her racquet, it was clear to see that Jankovic’s aggression was perhaps throwing Halep off her game plan a little, as the Serbian broke again to come out and serve for the match.
With Halep receiving a medical timeout for her toe before the second set, it was important that she came out to hold her first service game, but her relief was short lived, as Jankovic kept the pressure on, in fact if anything starting to get a little frustrated at herself, which may have spurred her on to put the hammer down on the Romanian.
A loose game by the Serbian to get broken to love put Halep back in the driver’s seat and the second set back on serve at 3-3, and for the briefest moment it looked like we could be in for the three-setter that we wanted but the Romanian handed the break straight back and with it, her hopes for her biggest title in her career.
Halep had to dig out a further break, aided and abetted by some typical Jankovic drama which included three double faults, a time violation warning, and Jankovic trying to serve while a ball-kid was still scrambling off the court. It was an emotional rollercoaster for Halep, who once more found herself rapidly facing break points succumbing to the fourth straight break of serve this match, but more dangerously giving Jankovic serving for the title.
Admitting to her coach Chip Brooks that she was nervous she reverted to the defence we often see in her game, just giving Halep the opportunities to dig out winners, breaking her with the fifth consecutive time this set. With finally a hold to stop the run of breaks, Halep suddenly seemed the aggressor as Jankovic tightened up as the match went into a decider.
Again the initial advantage went to the volatile Serbian, but Halep was never far away from breaking back, as the pair treated the crowd to some great rallies, not to mention more drama as the chair umpire seemed to forget about the nuances of second serves.
With both struggling to keep hold of their serve in the final set, Jankovic called her coach back once more but her serve and resolve seemed to desert her once and for all as Halep broke for a 5-3 lead to serve for the title, but handed back the advantage straight away.
It took yet another break to love to seal the deal for the Romanian 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 after what started out as a difficult week for her, after a personal bereavement. It had been a great run for Jankovic who struggled to deal with the nerves of closing out, having won her last title in 2013.
After the match, Jankovic admitted that she had let her opportunities pass her by.
She said: “I let those nerves take the best out of me. That shouldn’t happen. I was full of emotions. I was just overwhelmed and excited that I’m in the final and I put myself into a position to win.
“So it’s been an amazing two weeks. Yes, of course I’m disappointed that I lost this final, because I really had a chance to win and hold that trophy. But I’m still proud of myself and my team how far I came into this tournament and what I have achieved.”
Halep admitted she knew she was being rushed into mistakes, especially in the first set, and finally the key had been to make her run over the three sets.
Talking to the press with the giant glass trophy at her side, she said: “She knew how to play me today to make more mistakes. It was difficult for me to take that balls very high and without power, so I did many mistakes with my forehand.
“My coach came on court and he said that I’m rushing at that balls. So I said, Okay, I understand, and I go now to play not very strong those balls.
“I just try to stay cool, to make her run a lot. I know that she’s running well, but still my backhand down the line was good today. Forehand so so. Everything went well, and, you know, I have no comments now. I have like, in my mind, it’s like ‑‑ I have another title, my biggest title now, so it’s amazing. I feel great.”
After attempting to lift it, she confirmed she intends to play Miami, as does Jankovic.
Ros Satar is a British sports journalist and a writer at Livetennis.com.
(March 21, 2015) The top two men’s tennis players will face off in the final of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday in Indian Wells, California.
In Sunday’s final, defending champion Djokovic will be aiming to capture his fourth Indian Wells tournament, while Federer will be going for his fifth title in the desert. Federer leads Djokovic 20-17 in their head-to-head records.
Djokovic is now 17-8 against Murray, after winning for the sixth straight time against the Brit. Djokovic is 18- 2 on the year.
Considering this was probably the first match that I’ve played in the day in the entire year ‑‑ because I have played Doha, Dubai, Australian Open, and 90% of the matches I played during the night ‑‑ I thought I handled the conditions well.
It wasn’t easy, but I needed some time to adjust. The fact that I’m in another finals makes me definitely feel very good, very confident.
I had a phenomenal start of the season, and hopefully I can, you know, do my best tomorrow and maybe get another trophy.
Murray had a below average serving day against the Serb, losing his serve four times in the match.
“I tried to go for a few more serves today and to try to get a few more free points, but, you know, serving 50% or just below is, you know, not good enough against the best players,” sais Murray. “You obviously need to serve better.
“I thought I actually hit my second serve better than I did in Australia today, but first‑serve percentage was too low.”
Murray had 29 unforced errors and only seven winners in the contest
“I think obviously I didn’t start either of the sets well,” Murray said. “That obviously makes things difficult against the best players. I mean, Novak didn’t give me any free points at the beginning of either of the sets, and I made a few too many errors early on.
“Then, you know, in the end of both sets, middle of both sets, I started to play a bit better and made it tougher and was able to push him a bit, but not enough at the beginning of the sets to make it challenging enough for him.”
“I thought I played solid, with the right intensity from the beginning,” said Djokovic. “Good first‑serve percentage. Got some free points there in the important moments.
“Just overall it was a good performance.”
Djokovic admitted that his opponent did preform as well as he could have.
“Even though it’s a straight‑set victory, I still had to earn it,” Djokovic stated. “I thought that he hasn’t played close to his highest level. Made a lot of unforced errors, especially from the forehand side. Low percentage of first serves in. That allowed me to obviously step in and be aggressive.”
Milos Raonic broke up the potential “Big Four” reunion in the semifinals when he upset Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals on Friday. Raonic tested Federer in the straight set loss on Saturday.
The hard-serving Canadian was broken in the eleventh game of the first set, which the Swiss closed out 7-5 in 45 minutes. Federer opened the second set with a break, and never looked back.
Federer has now reached his 40th Masters Series 1000 final. Federer claimed the desert crown 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2012.
“I’m very happy how well I’m playing,” said Federer. “Feel good physically. Obviously I feel refreshed after the holiday. I’m serving well, which is always crucial.”
“He was neutralizing well on the serve, but especially during the points I felt like a few times I was able to stretch him,” Raonic said.
“He was doing a good job of getting legs behind and always playing deep cross so I could never find that short forehand I was looking for.”
“I wish I would have served a higher percentage, but I felt like when I was putting my first serve in I was doing a good job,” the Canadian explained. “I don’t think I mixed up my second serve enough.”
Djokovic discussed the possibility of playing Federer in the final:
“If I get to play Roger, it’s the ultimate final that right now I can have. Probably the player that is in the best form. You know, in the last 12 months he’s been playing some of his best tennis, I thought.
“Especially after, for his standards, pretty average season in 2013. He came back and played the finals in Wimbledon, played some great tournaments, won titles, and we had a fight for No. 1 spot all the way up to last couple of matches in London.
“He started off the year well again except that third‑round loss in the Australian Open. He won two titles. You know, he’s playing great. There no question about it.
“We all know that Roger, with all his records, we know the experience that he has. He’s not expected to play nothing less than his best in these stages of the tournament.
“He’s been proving that. He won so many titles. He loves the big occasions, and I’m sure he’s gonna come out wanting to win, being aggressive.
“He moves great. I thought since he changed the racquet it helped him with maybe reaching balls in the defense that he wasn’t able to do maybe before that. Seems like he has more control in the backhand. Great serve, as always.
“So he’s a very complete player. No question about it.”
“One thing about Roger is that he always makes you play highest level if you want to win against him,” Djokovic added.
“That’s something that’s always in the back of my mind. This is something that makes me come out with the highest possible concentration and intensity and commitment. If I want to win that match and win this title, I definitely need to be on top of my game.”
“After losing so close last year I was quite disappointed, even though I was happy how I was playing,” said Federer. “Can’t wait until we get a chance again to play him here, because you have to wait one entire year, got to win another five matches, and finally you’re in the finals again.
“So I think it’s very exciting for both of us, and also for fans, to see a rematch of the great final from last year. I’m looking forward to it, and I hope I can keep up my good play.”
“I like these big matches. I have been playing so well and I don’t feel tired. I feel great going into the finals, and I hope I can keep up this kind of a level. I know I need an extra special performance tomorrow because Novak’s going to push you there to come up with a lot of great shots in a row, which is not always easy to do.
“So I will see how it goes.”
Asked if his rivalry Djokovic is on par with Rafael Nadal, Federer said: “It will never be the same. Not better or worse. It just will be different just because the matchup is so unique for me with Rafa; whereas Novak’s is totally, like I said, straightforward.
“With Rafa I feel like I need to change everything when I play him. I have played so many times against Rafa on clay, as well, that it feels different; whereas Novak has been a much more of a hard court rivalry, whereas with Rafa has been more clay and grass.”
Federer on his rivalry with Djokovic: “What remains is that you know it’s always been tough against him. I have seen the rise of him, you know, as he’s gotten fitter and more match tough, mentally tougher, became one of the best movers we have in the game. It’s been nice seeing him do that, you know, and improve as you move along.
“Sometimes I wonder if everybody’s willing to improve as much as Novak did. It’s been interesting to see him figure his game out, and I’m happy I can still hang with him. I must be quite honest, because he’s in his absolute prime right now, and I enjoy the challenge of him. I hope he enjoys my challenge.
“So we will see tomorrow, but I think it’s a very dynamic rivalry we have. Great movement. I don’t think we need to change our games very much when we play each other. We can just go out there and play our game, which I think is quite cool also for fans and for ourselves, which is interesting.”