Indian Wells is here. The Californian desert is one of if not the biggest tournament outside of the majors.
Over the year the tennis played at Indian Wells has taken imagination to another level.
Over the past 12 years there have been 11 different winners on the ladies side where as the men’s has been dominated by Rafa, Roger and Novak winning 13 of the last 15 editions except for Ljubicic’ win in 2007 and Del Potro’s win last year but the Argentine will be missing.
Who will challenge Novak?
That is the big question, who can challenge Novak Djokovic? Right now I’m looking around thinking well no one is at a world number one level but the only doubt in the mind is Novak hasn’t played since Melbourne so how fit and match ready is here but the fact he is playing doubles shows that he knows there will be some rustiness to drop off.
Is there a ladies favourite?
I think there isn’t a favourite but if I had to pick one then it would be Karolina Pliskova. I am in the process of writing about Karolina who I have been super impressed with this season and the improvement she has shown on these hard courts in California and Miami she should contend.
Dealing with pressure;
Naomi Osaka arrives having split with Sascha, defeat in Doha, a new coach and is defending champion at Indian Wells.
I think it is fair to say that Naomi is now under pressure. This is what comes with the game, she is defending champion and this is the first time she has had to defend a title if anything the pressure can be greater!
This will be an interesting tournament, there are high expectations but also players who need a big tournament as their season has not kicked off and is something I will be looking at.