Outside of the Grand Slams one of the most popular stops on the tour is Indian Wells. Over the years we have seen the best in tennis triumph here but it is always an open field.
Since the event begin in 1989 there have been nine players who have won the event twice. Three of those (Azarenka, Serena & Kim) will be in action this year aiming for a third title but as history suggests in Indian Wells it is anyones game.
In the last 14 years there have been 19 different finalists and 12 difference winners of the event but will there a 13th different winner?
I do think it would take something quite phenomenal to see Vika, Serena or Kim win the title. Vika has only played once this season in a defeat in Monterrey, Serena hasn’t played since the Australian Open and Kim is yet to win on her comeback to tennis.
Recent former champions include Bianca Andreescu and Naomi Osaka however I wouldn’t put too much on these two winning the title once again in 2020.
Bianca is yet to play this year so to turn up to your first event being Indian Wells have missed around four months of tennis would be quite an ask.
Naomi Osaka just hasn’t looked at the races since the early stages of the season. Naomi was pulled apart by Coco Gauff and then that Fed Cup tie was bizarre from Naomi. The former number one threw out around 50 unforced errors as she lost 0-6 3-6 to Sara Sorribes Tormo. Surprisingly on the second day of Fed Cup Naomi was no where to be seen and hasn’t been on the court since.
I think there are possibilities of a new champion. World number one Ash Barty will be one of the favourites but likewise the in-form players such as Garbine Muguruza, Elena Rybakina and I wouldn’t rule out Ons Jabeur causing some problems.
One former champion I can see potentially winning the title again is 2015 winner Simona Halep who beat Jelena Jankovic 2-6 7-5 6-4 in the final.
Despite a semi-final exit in Melbourne I thought she played the best tennis we’ve seen from her to begin the season and she backed it up with the title in Dubai not long ago. The world number two does look in fantastic form and confidence which is why I expect the Romanian to be the former favourite for the first Premier Mandatory of the year.