Tennis: Djokovic to return to Indian Wells joined by Nadal, Alcaraz, Swiatek, Osaka

AP , Wednesday 7 Feb 2024

Novak Djokovic is returning to the BNP Paribas Open for the first time in five years in pursuit of a record sixth title in the Southern California desert.

Novak Djokovic
File Photo: Novak Djokovic of Serbia trains in preparation for the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. AFP

 

The world’s top-ranked male player last competed at Indian Wells in 2019, when he lost in the third round. Djokovic didn’t play here the last four years because he wasn’t vaccinated against COVID-19. The U.S. required noncitizen visitors to be vaccinated through last spring.

Djokovic won the tournament in 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Three-time winner Rafael Nadal will return after missing last year's event because of injury. He missed the Australian Open in January because of injury as well.

The tournament featuring the combined ATP and WTA tours runs March 3-17.

Iga Swiatek, the world's top-ranked woman, will be back. She won the title in 2022 and reached the semifinals last year.

Defending champions Carlos Alcaraz and Elena Rybakina will return. Alcaraz, ranked No. 2, became the first man to win at Indian Wells without dropping a set since Roger Federer in 2017.

Also in the event are Australian Open champions Jannik Sinner and Aryna Sabalenka, who lost in last year's final in the desert.

Other top men's players include 2022 winner Taylor Fritz, 2023 runner-up Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Alexander Zverev and Andy Murray.

Among the top women are Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula, Naomi Osaka, Australian Open finalist Qinwen Zheng, Maria Sakkari, Ons Jabeur, Marketa Vondrousova and Karolina Muchova.

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