The Indian Wells Masters 1000 tennis event is the most important tennis tournament in the world outside of the four majors. Currently called the BNP Paribas Open, it takes place in Indian Wells, California just outside of Palm Springs in the California desert. It is the highest attended tennis event outside of the four majors and has taken place every year since 1974. I have attended twice and hope to make it an annual trip, as it’s a great event!
This year I attended about 30 hours of the Indian Wells Masters 1000 tournament and saw several men’s and women’s singles and double matches including all of the top players. I attended this year’s event as a part of my partnership with Tourism Australia and they sponsored my visit and I thank them for the opportunity, as I love tennis.
Australians have an amazing history in tennis. Australian men have won 20 majors in the open era starting in 1968 and dozens more beforehand. Australian women have also won 20 majors in the Open era and 40 more beforehand. Melbourne is of course the host of the Australian Open and Australians have historically dominated that event.
In January I attended the semifinals and finals of the Australian Open in Melbourne. That was the second major final I had attended after the US Open final last fall and I have also previously attended both Wimbledon ad the French Open to complete my career grand slam. Additionally, I have attended the Miami Masters event; which is actually currently going on. Clearly I love tennis.
Novak Djokovic won the Indian Wells Masters event this year. He beat Roger Federer in the final. The women’s event was won by Flavia Pennetta and the doubles by the Bryan Brothers.
Since the event is such an important event, all the best players from all around the world play. Dozens of nations were represented, including Australia, although the Aussies didn’t fare too well this year. A female qualifier named Casey Dellacqua did manage to make a really good showing but was ultimately ousted in the quarters.
The event has been won by 4 different Australian players over the 40 years of the tournament, most recently by Lleyton Hewitt, the former world number 1 and two-time major champion. It has also been won by John Newcombe, John Alexander and Mark Phillippoussis. No Australian woman has ever won Indian Wells.
The ‘Grand Slam of the West’ as Indian Wells is commonly referred to boasts the second largest permanent tennis stadium in the world after Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open. It also has a state of the art second stadium complete with a Nobu Restaurant where you can eat sushi and watch tennis. You’ve got to love California!
Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, purchased the tournament and Indian Wells Tennis Garden in 2009. I first attended in 2010 and much has changed since then and the tournament and the garden are fantastic. It is certainly the best outside of the majors.
I look forward to returning again next year and hopefully the tennis loving Australians will have some better results next year! However, I am now looking forward to the European clay court season and hopefully attending Wimbledon again this year but certainly the US Open!
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