After a short hiatus, the top stars of the tennis world will lock horns once more as the Indian Wells Masters is about to start next week in California, USA.
The Indian Wells Masters is one of the most attended tennis events in the world and is widely considered as the biggest tournament after the majors. In last year’s edition, the tournament had a record-breaking appearance of around 475,000 fans which clearly makes it a must-see event.
There are plenty of storylines developing on either the men’s and women’s divisions. Dominic Thiem and Bianca Andreescu will look to defend their respective crowns after winning it last year, but it won’t come easy as they will be meeting certain challenges along the way.
But before we get into the thick of things, allow SBOTOP to guide you on the narratives as we give you a quick preview of this much-awaited tournament.
Thiem facing some stiff competition
Dominic Thiem secured his first Indian Wells Masters title last year when he pulled off an upset against Roger Federer in three grueling sets. But his Indian Wells Masters 2020 chance of winning it again this time around looks to be slim as he’s expected to face some tough competition.
Thiem will be up against the Big 3 in Nadal, Djokovic, and Federer while other upstarts such as Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Alexander Zverev will also vie for the crown.
Nadal, who is a three-time winner here, is enjoying a winning streak after recently claiming the ATP 500 title in Acapulco, Mexico. He will look to add on to his record of 35 ATP Masters titles which includes a record of 384 match wins at the Masters 1000 level.
Meanwhile, Djokovic will attempt to win this competition for the sixth time. Last year, he lost to Philipp Kohlschreiber in a third-round upset but he has been on a tear since. The Serbian national has a flawless 18-0 record so far this year, with wins at the inaugural ATP Cup, Australian Open, and at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships just last week.
Last year’s finalist in Roger Federer will have a chance to avenge his loss as he tries to bring home his sixth Indian Wells title. He had a nagging back injury in the Australian Open last month, but he looks to be ready and fully healthy now.
On the other hand, Daniil Medvedev will try to end his futility at the Californian Desert. He has never advanced past the third round of the tournament, but he continues to emerge as one of the brightest stars in tennis over this past year.
Williams looking to make history, Kerber and Halep pull out
After having to retire early in last year’s edition due to an illness, 23-time Grand Slam titlist Serena Williams is aiming to be the first woman ever to win three Indian Wells Masters championships. Williams is fresh off of a shocking third-round loss in the Australian Open and she will come in California very determined to make history anew.
Sofia Kenin is also a favorite in the tournament given her affinity in playing in the hard courts. The 21-year-old American just won her maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open and she should be considered as the dark horse for the women’s side.
Coco Gauff will be another name to look out for as she will be making her Indian Wells Masters debut. The teen sensation continues her rise in the sport and she is expected to produce some of the best Indian Wells Masters 2020 highlights.
Two former No. 1 players in Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber will not be playing in the tournament due to injuries. Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova and defending champion Bianca Andreescu are expected to round out the competition.
Indian Wells Masters tournament committee to implement coronavirus precautions
The coronavirus scare continues to haunt several sports events, and the upcoming Indian Wells Masters is no exception.
Although fans can still come over and watch the event live, the committee has decided to implement several actions in lieu of the outbreak.
In the official report, the committee will have more than 250 hand sanitizing stations all throughout the facility and ball kids, ticket volunteers, and food supply workers will be required to wear gloves in doing their respective duties. N95 masks are being secured as well for health personnel.
Days before the actual event, cleaners will sanitize the whole facility for hygienic purposes. At the same time, organised player and fan interactions are to be limited during the tournament.
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