BNP Paribas Open Review - Indian Wells 2019
The BNP Paribas Open from Indian Wells, California, once again did not fail to disappoint tennis fans around the world. The tournament saw a new record attendance, with 475,372 fans pouring through the gates to see the world’s best players do battle on court.
In the ATP Men’s Singles Masters 1000 event there was drama throughout the tournament. The last 32 saw World No.1 Novak Djokovic depart along with World’s No.3 and 6 Alexander Zverev and Kei Nishikori. The drama did not stop there as both Cilic and Isner fell before the Quarter Finals, leaving just three of the top ten seeds in the last eight.
The Quarter Finals saw huge disappointment when in-form, crowd favourite, Gael Monfils was forced to pull-out the competition with an achilles injury shortly before his game with Dominic Thiem. Milos Raonic and Roger Federer both sailed into the Semis with straight set victories. Rafael Nadal came through an epic with Karen Khachanov to win 7-6 7-6. However, it seemed that the 2 hour 17 minute match took its toll as he too could not compete in the next round after aggravating a knee injury that has thrown the longevity of his career into doubt once again. With Federer getting a bye due to Nadal’s long standing injury, Dominic Thiem’s three setter with Milos Raonic was the only Semi-Final to wet the crowd’s appetite. It proved highly entertaining and Thiem advanced with a 7-6 -6-7 6-4 victory.
Thiem was attempting to become the first Austrian to be crowned Indian Wells Champion. Federer fresh from not playing in the Semis, exploded out the blocks taking the first set 6-3. However, Thiem showed huge guts and determination to overcome this setback and take the next two sets 6-3, 7-5. In doing so, he won his first Masters 1000 title and recorded his first hardcourt victory over Roger Federer. Thiem will now leapfrog Nadal to world No.4 and hopes to carry the momentum into the second leg of the ‘Sunshine Double’ at the Miami Open.
Last year, Naomi Osaka won the Women’s singles event. Indian Wells was her maiden title and was a springboard for her back-to-back Grand Slam wins and her current number 1 ranking. It remained to be seen, ahead of this year’s tournament, if a similar feat could be achieved.
Petra Kivitova, seeded 3 was defeated in the last 64 by Venus Williams. Britain’s Johanna Konta and Serena Williams were the major casualties at the last 32 stage. The last 16 saw more major upsets as both Naomi Osaka (Seed 1) and Simona Halep (Seed 2) fell to opposition ranked outside of the World’s top 20. Throughout the tournament however, one player had been making waves in the competition with a string of straight set victories. Bianca Andreescu, who at the turn of the year was not even been ranked in the top 150, was making light work of much more experienced players. Her victory over Elina Svitolina in the Semi-Finals meant she was just one match away from her maiden WTA title at the tender age of eighteen.
Angelique Kerber stood in her way in a match that was dubbed ‘David vs Goliath’. The eighteen-year old from Canada took the first set 6-4 before Kerber struck back to win the second 6-3. Andreescu showed her maturity and unwavering nerve to win the final set 6-4 and land the teenager her first win in a style similar to that of Naomi Osaka 12 months prior.
The ‘Canadian Queen of the Court’ will look to continue this form into the Miami Open and it will be fascinating to see who else can hold their form in the second leg of the ‘Sunshine Double.’
Over 1 million unique viewers tuned into Indian Wells via our streaming services and consumed over 50 million minutes of action in the process. The excitement rolls on as we head into the Miami Open and we look forward to our Data and Streaming services helping more fans to engage with the tennis to come from the inaugural tournament at the Hard Rock Stadium.
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