Recognition Report: Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev lead Indian Wells field | ATP circuit

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The ATP Tour returns to Indian Wells for the penultimate ATP Masters 1000 event of the season at the BNP Paribas Open, where in the absence of the last five champions, the favorites arrive with little success in the desert. Following its cancellation in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event has been rescheduled this year to be held in October.

The top two seeds are Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas and both bid for a first Indian Wells trophy. The FedEx ATP Race To Turin is heating up in the California desert with a series of competitors desperate to bolster their claim to a place in the Nitto ATP Finals. ATPTour.com takes a look at 10 things to watch this week in Indian Wells.

1) The most recent Major Champion Medvedev Leader Pack: In the wake of the biggest title of his career at the US Open and his team’s success at the Laver Cup, the Russian is looking to maintain his momentum on American soil and win his second Masters 1000 trophy of the season.

The world number 2, who beat Reilly Opelka for the Toronto Masters 1000 trophy, also won titles in Marseille and Mallorca. He’ll look to add another to Indian Wells as a seed, where he’ll look to build on a modest 3-3 record.

2) Tower of Tsitsipas: For his third participation only in the Open BNP Paribas, the Greek star tops the list. The 23-year-old has shown great consistency in the Masters 1000 events this season, qualifying for at least the quarter-finals in five of the first six events at this level.

Tsitsipas won his first Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo, where he did not lose a set, and will try to claim his second at Indian Wells, where success has eluded him in the past (record 1-2). The second seed fell in the third round of the US Open before helping the European team win the Laver Cup in Boston.

3) FedEx ATP Race To Turin warms up: Several players are trying to claim one of the remaining places for the Nitto ATP Finals, which will take place at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from November 14 to 21. After his first title on hard and his fifth trophy of the season in San Diego, the Norwegian Casper Ruud climbs to eighth place in the Race.

Due to the absence of Rafael Nadal, seventh in Turin due to injury, the cup is effectively ninth in the race, with recent Metz champion Hubert Hurkacz, US Open semi-finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime and Sunday’s Sofia champion Jannik Sinner eager to perform well at Indian Wells to stay in contention.

4) The beginnings of #NextGenATP: Since the BNP Paribas Open has not taken place since 2019, several #NextGenATP stars will make their debut at the Masters 1000 event. Umag champion Carlos Alcaraz and Parma titlist Sebastian Korda lead the peloton.

Alcaraz reached their first Grand Slam quarter-final in New York last month, following a five-set loss to world number 3 Tsitsipas, while Korda advanced to the fourth round of a major tournament for the second time. at Wimbledon in July. Newport runner-up Jenson Brooksby, compatriot Zachary Svajda, Danish teenager Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune and Italian Lorenzo Musetti are other #NextGenATP names making their main draw debut at Indian Wells.

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5) New incoming champion: A first BNP Paribas Open champion in singles is guaranteed in 2021. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is not playing and the 2019 finalists, defending champion Dominic Thiem and five-time champion Roger Federer, are injured. Thiem announced in August that he would miss the remainder of the season with a right wrist injury. Will Cincinnati titlist Alexander Zverev, Russian star Andrey Rublev or Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini seize the opportunity to make their mark in the desert?

6) Zverev ready for the deep race: Another player integral to the European team’s Laver Cup triumph, Zverev has been on a red run since his start in the fourth round at Wimbledon. The German had a 16-game winning streak – winning a singles gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics (d. Khachanov) and his fifth Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati (d. Rublev) – before Novak Djokovic was knocked out. stops him in the semi-finals of the US Open. While he has yet to make the round of 16 in the desert (record 5-4), Zverev has won 17 of his last 18 matches.

7) Rublev chases the first Masters 1000: The star of Team Europe’s dominating Laver Cup triumph in Boston, world number 5 Rublev made a quick away transition with a run to his eighth semi-final of the season in San Diego this weekend (from left to Norrie). The Russian is aiming for his first title since winning Rotterdam in February, but has reached his first two Masters 1000 finals since (Monte Carlo and Cincinnati). He comes 1-2 at Indian Wells, having won qualifying to reach the round of 16 in 2019.

8) Fans relish the return to the desert: After the cancellation of Indian Wells in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic also forced the postponement of the 2021 edition from March to October. It’s a welcome return for fans, given that the event has been voted by players as the Masters 1000 tournament of the year for the past six years.

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9) Double stacked field: Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic have already won nine titles together this season, including Masters 1000 trophies in Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome, as well as Wimbledon and a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. The seeds Indian Wells lead a loaded doubles draw ahead of second-seeded US Open champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury.

This year’s Halle Open finalists Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz reunite, while Russians Rublev and Aslan Karatsev, Doha winners, and Italians Jannik Sinner and Berrettini, team up. World n ° 13 Denis Shapovalov joins forces again with former world n ° 3 doubles Rohan Bopanna, while Reilly Opelka and Alex de Minaur form a first duo.

10) Murray leads the Wild Cards into battle: In his first outing at Indian Wells since 2017, 2009 runner-up Andy Murray is one of five main draw wilds. Murray compiled a 25-12 record in the desert since his debut in 2006 and reached his first tour-level quarterfinal in nearly two years two weeks ago in Metz.

The other jokers are Americans #NextGenATP Brooksby and Zachary Svajda, 2017 semi-finalist Jack Sock and #NextGenATP Dane Rune. Former world number 8 and four-time ATP Tour titlist Sock reached his first Tour-level quarter-final since 2018 in Newport last month.


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