(February 18, 2016) – 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, American Taylor Fritz and Australian Open quarterfinalist Zhang Shuai were awarded wildcards into the main draw of the BNP Paribas Open to be held March 7-20, 2016 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Del Potro, the 2013 BNP Paribas Open runner-up, returned to action this week in Delray Beach after wrist surgeries kept him out for the majority of 2014 and 2015. The former World No. 4 will be making his sixth appearance in Indian Wells.
Southern California native Taylor Fritz, who received a wildcard into the qualifying draw at last year’s BNP Paribas Open, earns a main draw berth in 2016. The 18-year-old American won the US Open Junior Championship last fall and captured two Challenger titles. He has made great strides in the 2016 season including winning another Challenger event and advancing through qualifying at the Australian Open before falling in five sets to fellow countryman Jack Sock. This past week he reached the finals at Memphis as a wildcard, becoming the youngest American since Michael Chang in 1989 at the age of 17 to reach the final of an ATP World Tour event.
Zhang Shuai enters the main draw following a quarterfinal showing at the 2016 Australian Open, where she posted wins against four top 50 ranked opponents, including 2015 BNP Paribas Open Champion Simona Halep. Outside the top-120 in the WTA rankings to begin the year, Zhang currently sits at No. 67 in the world.
“We’re excited to add these three exceptional players to our already incredible fields,” said Moore. “We know our fans will welcome back Juan Martin after a two-year absence and we are thrilled to have a young American, Taylor Fritz, who has grown up in our own backyard, competing in front of a home crowd. In addition, from what Zhang Shuai showed us in Australia, she is a player for fans to keep an eye on during the tournament.”
In addition, there are three men’s and seven women’s main draw wildcards remaining, which will be granted in the coming weeks.