Indian Wells Masters Facts and Trivia
The Indian Wells Masters tournament, currently known as the BNP Paribas Open on account of sponsorship, is the first Masters 1000 event of the calendar. Taking place in Indian Wells, California, in the good old U.S of A, this hard court tournament is the first opportunity after the Australian Open to really make a mark on the tour. It hosts hard court competition for men and women, both singles and doubles. Let’s get into Indian Wells Masters facts and trivia!
Indian Wells Masters Facts
Charlie Pasarell and Raymond Moore founded the tournament in 1974, calling it The American Airlines Tennis Games. Organisers tried many name changes before landing on today’s BNP Paribas Open. This includes a personal favourite, The Virginia Slims of Indian Wells in 1989 and 1990.
The tournament has always been a combined men’s and women’s event. However, the women’s portion of the tournament used to take place a week before the men’s. In 1996 the two events combined to become one unified men’s and women’s event.
Sitting pretty in the Coachella Valley, the action takes place in the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which was built in 2000, The venue sports 29 courts one of which is the second largest stadium in the world that is dedicated solely to tennis. The main stadium seats 16,100, and is second only to the US Open’s Arthur Ashe Stadium in terms of pure dedicated tennis fan capacity, as well as being the fourth largest tennis venue overall.
Indian Wells’ sport green outer courts and blue inner courts.
Both the Indian Wells tournament and venue were bought by Larry Ellison in 2009. Ellison is a billionaire and philanthropist who made his name with Oracle, a database vendor. Ellison was named by seventh-wealthiest man in the world in 2017 by Forbes Magazine.
Australian John Newcombe was the first ever man to win what would become the Indian Wells Masters. Presently two men hold the honour of most Indian Wells titles. Both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have won the tournament five times.
On the women’s side, Manuela Maleeva. With regards to most titles, the magic number is two… and there are nine players who done it! Those players are Martina Navratilova, Mary Joe Fernández, Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters, Daniela Hantuchová, Maria Sharapova, and Victoria Azarenka.
Williams Sisters Controversy
In 2001, Venus and Serena were due to play each other in the semi-final. The match did not happen as Venus withdrew with injury. This took place to the backdrop of match fixing speculation, and the crowd did not take too kindly to the withdrawal. They proceeded to boo and jeer Serena in her final match and subsequent award ceremony. The sisters’ father, Richard Williams, also claimed racial slurs were directed at him in the stands. Following this incident, the Williams sisters refused to play at the event for over a decade! Serena returned to the event in 2014, and Venus in 2016.
And there we conclude our Indian Wells Masters facts and trivia. Do you have some interesting information about this tournament that you feel should be here? Leave a comment below and we’ll get on that.