Indian Wells: A 2016 Preview

What to know before we fire-up the 2016 BNP Paribas Open here at Indian Wells. For starters, Qualifying gets underway tomorrow morning starting at 11:00am, featuring the ladies…

BNP Paribas Open 2016 – Monday Order of Play

BNP Paribas Open 2016 – WTA Qualifying Singles Draw


On Stadium-2, we will completely produce the day’s second match featuring Tamira Paszek and Naomi Ozaka. However, pay close attention to the day’s third and fourth matches on Stadium-2:

  • Taylor Townsend won the Pre-Qualifying tournament for a chance to compete at this year’s BNP Paribas Open. She’s already played a ton of tennis here in the desert. It will be interesting to see how well she fares against Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina.
  • Then Kirsten Flipkens will take the court – after an overnight flight from Monterrey where she fell in today’s final to Heather Watson – to face American Louisa Chirico.

With the start of qualifying here at Indian Wells, let’s take a look at the pulse of the game after an electric Davis Cup weekend and wins from Heather Watson and Elina Svitolina

Maria Sharapova. Retirement?

Is this it for Maria Sharapova? We will find out tomorrow.


ATP World Tour. Davis Cup.

World Group. Croatia def. Belgium 3-2 despite two epic wins from Belgium’s David Goffin. Marin Cilic won the Tie’s first rubber over Kimmer Coppejans. Goffin then downed Borna Coric 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 3-6, 6-3. The Croatians delivered a doubles win on Saturday, leading to Goffin’s Tie-saving win over Cilic 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. Unfortunately for the Belgians, Coric proved too much for Coppejans in the deciding rubber, and Croatia earned their place in the Davis Cup Quarterfinals. NEXT: United States, in the U.S. this July.

World Group. United States def. Australia 3-1 in an historically significant clash at the classic Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. Kooyong was home to the Australian Open for years, and hosted epic Davis Cup Ties between the Aussies and Americans for decades. With Lleyton Hewitt’s first stint as Davis Cup Captain, the host-site was never in question. John Isner clinched the Tie for Team USA, defeating Bernard Tomic in the fourth rubber on Sunday 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(4). While the U.S. finally picked up its first Davis Cup World Group First Round win since 2013, the loudest story from the weekend turned-out to be in-fighting between Tomic and Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios has been hot after winning Marseilles and reaching the Semifinals in Dubai (where he retired down 4-6, 0-3 to Stan Wawrinka – no love lost there). In Kooyong, word was Nick was sick and couldn’t compete. Captain Lleyton Hewitt had to step-in and play for Nick in Saturday’s doubles. Bernard wasn’t convinced of Nick’s illness, surmising that his teammate perhaps wasn’t interested in competing, hoping to keep his strength-up for a run at Indian Wells…it got ugly:

World Group. Great Britain def. Japan 3-1 behind a grueling five-set performance from Andy Murray over Kei Nishikori 7-5, 7-6(6), 3-6, 4-6, 6-3. NEXT: Serbia in the QF this July.

World Group. Serbia def. Kazakhstan 3-2. Viktor Troicki clinched the Tie with a straight-sets win over Aleksandr Nedovyesov. Novak Djokovic kept the Tie alive with a remarkable five-set win over Mikhail Kukushkin 6-7(6), 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. On top of the eye-issues that forced Novak to retire in Dubai, he suffered an ankle roll during Sunday’s match, but hung-on for the win.

World Group. Italy def. Switzerland 5-0. After wins from Paulo Lorenzi and Andreas Seppi on Day-1, Simone Bolelli teamed with Seppi to clinch the Tie on Saturday. Roger Federer (knee-surgery) and Stan Wawrinka did not play for the Swiss. NEXT: Argentina in the QF this July.

World Group. Argentina def. Poland 3-2. Leonardo Mayer clinched the win for Argentina with a reverse-rubber win over Michal Przysiezny 6-7(4) 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-3.

World Group. France def. Canada 5-0. The French absolutely dominated in Guadeloupe, winning the Tie without dropping a set. Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon delivered on Day-1 over Frank Dancevic and Vasek Pospisil. Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga then clinched it on Saturday with a straight-sets win over Philip Bester and Pospisil. NEXT: Czech Republic

World Group. Czech Republic def. Germany 3-2. In one of the most hotly contested Ties of the weekend, Lukas Rosol delivered for the Czechs after Tomas Berdych was forced to retire from his reverse-rubber with a hamstring injury. In the deciding rubber, Rosol clobbered Alexander Zverev 6-2, 6-3, 6-1; redemption after falling in a five-setter to Kohlschreiber on Friday. Berdych won an epic battle over Zverev in the Tie’s second-rubber on Friday 7-6(6), 1-6, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4. He and Radek Stepanek then teamed for the doubles win on Saturday; but Tomas’ injury on Sunday – down 3-6, 5-7 to Philipp Kohlschreiber – leveled the Tie at 2-all, setting up Lukas Rosol’s clutch win. After the victory, instead of boarding a flight to Indian Wells, Berdych was on the next flight to Prague to have his hamstring checked-out. Hopefully, the World #7 will recover in time to compete here in the desert.

WTA Tour. Kuala Lumpur.

Elina Svitolina def. Genie Bouchard 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-5. Genie had match point up 5-4 in the third.


WTA Tour. Monterrey.

Heather Watson def. Kirsten Flipkens 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. Heather Watson posted straight-sets wins over seeds Caroline Wozniacki and Caroline Garcia to reach the final. It was Heather’s 3rd career title; first since winning Hobart last year. It was Kirsten’s 3rd career Final; first since 2013.


The WTA’s Parity Continues

There have been 14 tournaments on the WTA tour so far this year. The finals have featured 25 different players with 13 unique champions. Only Sloane Stephens (2-titles), Angelique Kerber (1-title, 1-final) and Genie Bouchard (2-finals) have reached more than one final this year:

TOURNAMENT
BRISBANE.........................
SHENZHEN.......................
AUCKLAND.......................
SYDNEY........................
HOBART............................
AUSTRALIAN OPEN...........
ST. PETERSBURG...........
TAIWAN............................
DUBAI................................
RIO.....................................
DOHA....................................
ACAPULCO...........................
KUALA LUMPUR....................
MONTERREY.........................

WINNER
Victoria Azarenka
Agnieszka Radwanska
Sloane Stephens
Svetlana Kuznetsova
Alize Cornet
Angelique Kerber
Roberta Vinci
Venus Williams
Sara Errani
Francesca Schiavone
Carla Suarez Navarro
Sloane Stephens
Elina Svitolina
Heather Watson

FINALIST
Angelique Kerber
Alison Riske
Julia Goerges
Monica Puig
Genie Bouchard
Serena Williams
Bleinda Bencic
Misaki Doi
Barbora Strycova
Shelby Rogers
Jelena Ostapenko
Dominika Cibulkova
Genie Bouchard
Kirsten Flipkens