One of the biggest events on the tennis calendar, the 2016 BNP Paribas Open is live from Indian Wells from 7-20 March: Follow all the best action live from the first Masters 1000 Series event of the year live as it unfolds.
BNP Paribas Open tennis is live from Indian Wells from 7-20 March 2016. Watch & bet on tennis live from Indian Wells at 365
World no. 1 Novak Djokovic began a year of unequalled dominance over Masters 1000 Series titles at Indian Wells in 2015 when he defeated Roger Federer in the final for the second straight year, equaling Federer’s record haul of four Indian Wells Masters titles and going on to win five more Masters 1000 Series titles in 2015 for a record six. Will Djokovic surpass Federer’s record of four Indian Wells titles or can Federer, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray interrupt the Serb’s dominance when the 2016 BNP Paribas Open begins on 7 March?
Roger Federer celebrates winning his fourth Indian Wells Masters title in 2012 (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)
One of nine Masters 1000 events on the ATP World Tour calendar, Indian Wells has evolved into the most-attended tournament outside the four Grand Slams since it was first played in 1976. Along with the event which follows it in Miami, Indian Wells is the only Masters event to boast a Grand Slam-sized draw of 128 players each year. Coupled with the fact that its location since 2000, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, boasts a 16,000-seat stadium which is the second largest tennis court in the world, and the BNP Paribas Open can truly lay claim to being one of the world’s biggest tennis events, if not the biggest, outside the Grand Slams and the season-ending championships.
Indian Wells’s primacy is backed up by its position on the calendar: The first Masters 1000 event of the season, it sits equidistant between the first and second Grand Slams of the year, January’s Australian Open and late May’s French Open. The BNP Paribas Open is also a major women’s event, with the women’s event initially played the week before the men’s before becoming a combined tournament in 1996. Between the biggest stars of the ATP and the WTA, the event attracted a record 431,527 fans in 2014, helped by the new 8,000-seat Stadium 2 court which opened for the first time that year.
Since six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker won the first of his back-to-back titles in 1987, the BNP Paribas Open has consistently featured the biggest stars, with many of the legends of men’s tennis lifting the trophy including Stefan Edberg (1990), Jim Courier (1991, 1993), Michael Chang (1992, 1996-7), Pete Sampras (1994-5) and Andre Agassi (2001).
Rafael Nadal celebrates winning the Indian Wells Masters in 2013 (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
Like most of tennis’s biggest events, however, the Indian Wells Masters has been dominated by three names – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – since 2004, with only one other player winning the title between 2004 and 2015. Ivan Ljubicic briefly interrupted the Djokovic-Nadal-Federer dominance in 2010 when the big-serving Croatian player defeated Andy Roddick in the final, but otherwise the Californian desert has been the scene of displays of greatness by Federer (2004-6, 2012), Nadal (2007, 2009 and 2013) and Djokovic (2008, 2011, 2014-15).
Federer still holds the record for most consecutive titles at the Indian Wells Masters for his trio of titles between 2004 and 2006, when he defeated Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake and Tim Henman in the finals, and for the most finals reached (six overall). But he saw his record of four Indian Wells Masters titles matched by Djokovic when the Serb claimed the second of back-to-back titles in 2015.
Former champions Djokovic, Nadal and Federer will be hot favourites for the 2016 Indian Wells Masters title, along with Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic, when the first Masters Series event of 2016 begins on 7 March.
Watch and bet on all the best action from the BNP Paribas Open 2016 as it unfolds, live via mobile, computer or tablet, from 7-20 March.