BNP Paribas Tennis Open
Tennis fans look forward to the Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) Paribas Open each year. It is one of the premier tennis tournaments in the world. The event is held in Indian Wells at the Tennis Garden, in what is near perfect weather for fans and players alike. The tournament starts March 6th and ends March 19th.
What is the PNB Paribas Open?
Other than the four majors, the BNP Paribas Open is the largest tournament in which both Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour Masters 1000 and World Tennis Association (WTA) Premier professional events occur simultaneously. These events earn players more points, making the Tournament a must-play for the world's top players. The tournament consists of 96 singles players and 32 doubles teams and offers a combined purse of more than $10 million. The tournament brings close to half a million fans to the Valley each March, and it is widely covered by the media.
History of the BNP Paribas Open
Few people could have imagined when the tournament began as an ATP fundraising event in Tucson that it would become one of the premier events in tennis. The tournament moved to the Coachella Valley in 1976, and as new facilities were added the event grew. The tournament took off with historic matches such as Yannick Noah's upset of Ivan Lendl in 1982. Lendl was on a 44-match win streak at the time, just two short of the record.
The tournament was moved to a new stadium at Indian Wells in 1987, which marked the first time women played at the event. They played prior to the men's tournament until 1996, when the Indian Wells tournament become one of only six worldwide with combined ATP and WTA match play. It became the BNP Paribas Open in 2009 when the French bank signed on as a sponsor, and it has continued to grow each year.
The Indian Wells Tennis Garden
The tennis facilities at Indian Wells have continued to grow over the years too, fueling the size and importance of matches. When the first courts at the facility were completed, there was room for 7.500 fans. Since that time, they have expanded to 54 acres of tennis facilities, with 29 courts. The main stadium at the facility, Stadium 1, holds 16,100 fans, the second largest on the tour. Stadium 2 holds another 8,000 fans, making matches on its court as intense as those held in the main stadiums at other venues.
2016 Results and 2017 Field
The 2016 BNP Paribas Open featured wins in the men's ATP Masters 1000 by Novak Djokovic in singles and Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in doubles. On the women's side, 2012 winner Victoria Azarenka took the title again, with a double's victory by Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Coco Vandeweghe. While the 2017 lineup has not been set, expect the top players from both the men's and women's sides who are fighting for ATP and WTA points to be on the courts at Indian Wells.