Indian Wells, also known as the BNP Paribas Open, is the unofficial fifth major tournament on the tennis calendar beginning in early March.
Tennis fans are always excited about this tournament, but they have even more reason to look forward to it in 2024. Both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will play this year. It marks the first time Nadal is back in Indian Wells since losing the 2022 final to American Taylor Fritz.
Djokovic has not played the event since 2019. Indian Wells was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Djokovic missed three straight years since. As expected, BNP Paribas Open officials are elated to have two of the Big 3 in the draw and are shouting it from the highest mountain so everyone knows it.
What is at stake for Nadal and Djokovic
Nadal is trying to get match play to assess how his physical condition is. Prior to the Australian Open, he aggravated the hip that kept him out of the game in 2023 and was forced to skip Melbourne. For him to get into form before Roland Garros, he needs to go deep in matches and tournaments in March and April to feel more confident about his physical well-being before clay court season.
Djokovic is trying to win his sixth career title at Indian Wells. He is currently tied at five with Roger Federer so he is once again attempting to shatter records. The ATP released a hilarous reality video earlier this week that suggested everything was scripted. On the idea board, we saw that a ball kid wins the Miami Open, but there were no hints about Indian Wells. Djokovic proved he is almost as good of an actor as he is a tennis player in the piece.