Novak Djokovic is set to make his return to the Indian Wells tournament for the BNP Paribas Open, ending a five-year absence due to COVID-19 and U.S. travel restrictions. The entry list released by tournament organizers indicates the participation of the world number one, who last appeared at Indian Wells in 2019 and will be aiming for his sixth title at the prestigious event, considered one of the most significant outside the Grand Slam tournaments.
Three-times Indian Wells champion Rafael Nadal is also featured in the men’s lineup, marking his return after missing the Australian Open last month due to a muscle tear. Nadal is listed for the ATP 250 event in Doha from February 19-24.
The 2020 BNP Paribas Open was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and Djokovic missed the subsequent three editions due to travel restrictions on unvaccinated foreigners entering the United States. The upcoming tournament will see Djokovic’s return to the Indian Wells courts, where he experienced a third-round exit in 2019.
The men’s field includes reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz, Australian Open winner Jannik Sinner, and Taylor Fritz, who became the first American man since Andre Agassi in 2001 to win the Indian Wells title in 2022.
On the women’s side, the lineup features world number one Iga Swiatek, 2023 Indian Wells champion Elena Rybakina, Australian Open winner Aryna Sabalenka, and Americans Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula. Former Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka and 2019 finalist Angelique Kerber are expected to make their return after maternity leave.
The BNP Paribas Open is scheduled to run from March 3 to 17, bringing together a star-studded field for one of the most eagerly anticipated tournaments on the tennis calendar. The presence of Djokovic and Nadal adds significant excitement to the event, making it a must-watch for tennis enthusiasts worldwide.
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