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The ATP Indian Wells Masters, also known as the BNP Paribas Open, is the first Masters 1000 event on the ATP World Tour schedule. It holds the impressive distinction of being the most attended event outside of the four Grand Slams. It has drawn overall crowds of over 350,000 in recent years. All of the biggest names will typically be taking part at Indian Wells, unless injury or suspension prevents them from entering the draw.
This is a hard court event, based in the Coachella Valley in California. The Indian Wells Tennis Garden, built in 2000, hosts the competition. This venue boasts twenty courts, three of which are located in stadiums. The main stadium can seat up to 16,100 spectators, making it one of the biggest tennis stadiums in the world.
The main draw comprises of 96 entrants placed into a 128 player grid. The 32 seeded participants receive a bye into the second round. The main draw unfolds over eleven days, making it the only main draw of a competition to extend beyond eight days besides the main draw of the ATP Miami Masters. The doubles draw consists of 32 teams.
The tournament was first played at Indian Wells in 1987, though it had previously been located in Tucson, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and La Quinta respectively. The winner of the maiden singles competition was Australian tennis legend John Newcombe. He has since been joined on the winners list by the likes of Jimmy Connors, Yannick Noah, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Michael Chang, Pete Sampras, Marcelo Rios, Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The doubles event has also been won by some dynamic duos. Amongst these are Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor, Jonas Bjorkman and Patrick Rafter, Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick and Nadal and Marc Lopez. Guy Forget won five doubles titles here, having teamed up with Noah, Peter Fleming, Henri Leconte, and on two occasions, Becker.
The ATP Indian Wells Masters title is always highly sought after. This event is one of the key stops on the ATP World Tour. The ranking points on offer make participation in this event worthwhile for anyone who can enter, and the overall prize pot in excess of 3.5 million US dollars gives the world’s best even more to play for. Whatever the year, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the ATP Indian Wells Masters will be one of the most exhilarating events of the ATP season.
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