The first ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier Mandatory event of 2019 gets underway in the Californian sunshine in Indian Wells and with many of the biggest names in the game in action, it should be a fascinating fortnight of tennis. Check out our top BNP Paribas Open tips and odds.
The BNP Paribas Open is one of the biggest events in both the male and female games, outside of the 4 recognised Grand Slams. The male event has been hosted a multitude of venues and is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year whilst this will be the 30th incarnation of the women’s event. It is one of the very few events on the calendar that run side by side at the same venue and is renowned for its impressive playing field, year in, year out.
The BNP Paribas Open hosts one of the biggest fields in professional tennis (outside of the Grand Slams) with 96 players making up the star-studded field. There are 12 qualifiers and 5 wild cards in both the male and female draws and each match is played over the best of three tie-break sets.
The Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California has hosted the event since 1987 and has the largest event attendance of any tennis tournament in the world (Grand Slams excluded).
Monday 4th March 2019 – Sunday 17th March 2019.
Previous Winners (Men’s)
Many of the biggest names in professional tennis have won the Indian Wells Masters – testimony to the prestige of the event. Current world number 1 Novak Djokovic tops the tree with 5 tournament wins and he’ll be hoping to extend that run here. Roger Federer sits alongside Djokovic with 5 triumphs too whilst Michael Chang, Rafael Nadal and Jimmy Connors have three tournament victories each in California.
Previous Winners (Women’s)
Despite having a shorter tournament history, there is no shortage of quality in the list of female winners with Mary Joe Fernandez, Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams, Lindsey Davenport, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka amongst the giants of the game to have won the event on two occasions. Current champion Naomi Osaka began her surge up the rankings here last year and will be looking to defend her title.
2019 Tournament Preview
As with most events on the ATP Tour calendar, it is very hard to look past Novak Djokovic currently as the world number 1 is in fine form. Roger Federer stormed to the title in Dubai so should be in good form here whilst Rafael Nadal has a good record at Indian Wells too. The emerging talents of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev will also be serious threats in what looks to be a packed draw.
Defending champion Naomi Osaka used this event as a springboard last season and has gone on to win two Grand Slams since. The usual big hitters of Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova will be looking to be open their accounts for 2019 whilst the likes of Elina Svitolina and Angelique Kerber will be looking to have a big impact in California this week.
2019 BNP Paribas Open Tournament Preview
Men’s Outright Winner Odds:-
Masters 1000 events are arguably the most sought after on the ATP Tour with 1000 rankings points on offer and with no Grand Slam on the calendar until June, Indian Wells represents the ideal opportunity for players to pick up wins and form.
Here are some of our favourites for the BNP Paribas Open title:-
Five-time champion Novak Djokovic continues to blaze a trail at the top of the men’s game and arrives in California as the hot favourite. With the Australian Open already under his belt in 2019, he will be looking to have a big impact here in one of his favourite events.
Rafael Nadal has picked up the trophy in Indian Wells on three occasions – most recently in 2013 and he will be eager to get up and running in 2019. His defeat to Nick Kyrgios in Mexico will still be fresh in the memory and he will want to come out swinging here.
Fresh off the back of his 100th ATP Tour title in Dubai last week, Federer looks well set to try and clinch his 6th Indian Wells crown. The Swiss supremo hasn’t really featured in the latter stages any of the big events since Wimbledon 2018 and he will be keen to get going again here.
Alexander Zverev will be hoping to bounce back from a disappointing showing at the Australian Open and this could present the perfect opportunity. The German has unquestioned potential but needs to start asserting his authority on events such as this to cement his place in the world’s elite.
The ‘Tower of Tandil’ is the defending champion here in California and will be looking to replicate his 2018 showing. The Argentine is one of the most consistent performers on tour and looks to have put his injury problems behind him and will be targeting a successful 2019.
The Greek sensation enjoyed an incredible run to the semi-finals of the Australian Open and backed that up with a run to the final in Dubai last week. He has broken into the world’s top 10 and looks well set to fly the flag for the next generation of tennis players.
Canadian superstar Milos Raonic has been in fine form in 2019 – epitomised by his run to the last 8 of the Australian Open and he looks a man reborn on the ATP Tour. He reached the final in this event in 2016 and he looks well priced to have a go at going one better this season.
2019 BNP Paribas Tournament Preview
Women’s Outright Winner Odds:-
The maiden WTA Premier Mandatory event of the year promises to be a classic in California with the exciting blend of youth and experience on display at Indian Wells.
Here are some of our favourites for the BNP Paribas Open title:-
The reigning US and Australian Open champion, Naomi Osaka returns to the place where it all began for her in Indian Wells. She stormed to the title last season and looks very well placed to defend her title on a surface in California that will suit her powerful game.
Serena Williams is now a permanent fixture at the Indian Wells event – following a boycott of the event between 2002 and 2015. Despite dropping to number 10 in the world, Serena is always a tough opponent for anyone who comes up against her and she will be one to watch again here.
The world number 2 has continued to blaze a trail at the top of the women’s game – following her French Open triumph last summer. The Romanian last won the event in 2015 and will be eager to get back in the winner’s enclosure here.
The Australian Open finalist has been one of the form players in 2019 and possesses a game capable of challenging anyone. Her all-action, hard-hitting game looks a good fit here in Indian Wells and she’ll be keen to continue her impressive start to the campaign.
The Ukrainian hotshot is currently ranked number 6 in the world and will be desperate to make an impact in a WTA Premier Mandatory event here. She reached the semi-finals in Dubai last week and should be in reasonable form going into this one.
German number 1 has endured a sticky start in 2019 but still sits at number 8 in the world rankings and is a player that can cause some damage in the draw this week.
Swiss youngster Belinda Bencic has enjoyed a resurgence over the past 12 months and her title win in Dubai last week made it a Swiss double alongside Roger Federer. At the age of 21, she has the world at her feet and could be one to watch here.