By Greg Stewart
In the first of nine ATP Masters tournament, Indian Wells plays host to most of the top world ranking players in a show-down that will certainly set the pace for the remainder of the season. This top flight tennis tournament routinely sets the standard for tennis tournaments for the season and has also been voted the best tournament in its category several times, most recently in 2021
In a twist of world politics, there are several big name players, including men’s single World No1 Daniil Medvedev, who will be competing in their individual capacity and not under the Russian flag as the political situation in the Ukraine continues.
Does Age Matter?
Rafa Nadal at 35 years of age, will be looking to add a fourth title to his already exceptional resume and should he do so will also equal the record for the oldest Champion, currently held by Roger Federer who was 35 when he won his record fifth Indian Wells title in 2017. Federer and Novak Djokovich share the most titles won record at five each.
Britten Cameron Norrie will be defending his hard fought 2021 title. Norrie has already won his first title this year with a win at the Delray Beach Open. Andrey Rublev, Alexander Zverev and Stephanos Tsitsipas will certainly be in the mix and should all make the final 16 if there are no major up-sets.
Equally there is a cluster of young guns keen to make a statement at Indian Wells. 21-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime claimed his first ATP crown in Rotterdam after a fine performance at the Australian open, he will certainly be in the running with the likes of Jannik Sinner (20), and Casper Ruud (23) all worth keeping an eye on if you’re taking an outsider into consideration in your sports betting line-up.
Only one South African Player – Lloyd Harris, who is currently ranked 34th in the ATP world rankings will be in the mix if you’re looking for a local hero to back to make it to the final 16.
In the Women’s competition, while Australian Open winner Ashleigh Barty will not be in attendance,Women’s World No’s 2-6, Barbora Krejcikova, Aryna Sabalenka, Australian Open Semi-finalist IgaSwiatek, Anett Kontaveit and Maria Sakkari, will be there to challenge defending Champion, Spaniard Paula Badosa, who captured her first WTA 1000 title at Indian Wells in October 2021. Badosa who reached a career-high ranking of No. 6 this year after winning the Sydney Classic in January where she beat Krejcikova in 3 sets in the final and is currently ranked 7th.
Maddie Keys is definitely a player to watch with her having a big come-back at the Austrailian open and will be keen to keep her momentum going this season.
Others to watch: Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, Jelena Ostapenko, Jessica Pegula and 22-year old Elena Rybakina
All the latest betting odds available on SunBet