The 3rd Major Tournament on the WTA Tour in 2010 is the Indian Wells Open. This year Indian Wells is called the BNP Paribas Open. Since last year the new title sponsor of Indian Wells is BNP Paribas who took over from Pacific Life who were the title sponsor from 2002 to 2008.
Indian Wells is one of the most important tournaments on the WTA Tour because it is one of only 4 Premier Mandatory events. A Premier Mandatory event is a combined event which means both the top women and men’s tennis players play at the same tournament just like at a Grand Slam event and equal prize money of 4.5 million US dollars for both the women and men’s events is awarded to the players.
Indian Wells is in California in the USA. This year will be the 22nd year for the women’s event and it will be held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The singles main draw will have 96 players and the 1st round matches commence on Wednesday 10 March and there will be play every day through to the Women’s Singles Final on Sunday 21 March.
The stadium court seats 16,100 people and is the 2nd largest tennis stadium in the world behind Arthur Ashe Stadium. It is the most attended tennis tournament in the world outside of the 4 Grand Slam tournaments.
To put it into perspective in terms of the world famous Grand Slam tournaments, the winner of Indian Wells earns more WTA ranking points than the semi finalist of a Grand Slam singles event pointing to the Indian Wells champion being a better achievement than making the semi finals of the Australian Open.
Every woman that has won Indian Wells for the past 21 years a row has finished that year in the Top 10. Winning this event seems to almost guarantee you a Top 10 ranking and a Top 8 finish to allow you to qualify for the end of year WTA Tour Finals round robin play offs.
Last year the No.4 seed Vera Zvonareva (pictured above), won Indian Wells by defeating the defending champion at the time Ana Ivanovic 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in the final. The Russian won 1,000 WTA ranking points for that victory whilst Ivanovic the No.5 seed won 700 WTA ranking points as the runner-up.
Zvonareva beat Victoria Azarenka whilst Ivanovic defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the 2009 semi-finals. The 2009 quarter finalists were Caroline Wozniacki, Sybille Bammer, Agnieszka Radwanska and Dinara Safina.
The WTA rankings as of 26 January 2010 were used to determine who would be accepted into the qualifying and main draws. There were 76 spots allocated in the draw to direct acceptances. These are the players who are accepted into the main draw in order of ranking from the highest entered player down the entry list until the 76 places are filled.
The cut-off for Indian Wells was World No.78 Jill Craybas from the USA. The cut-off is the ranking of the last player (or lowest ranked player), who is directly accepted into the main draw. This means Indian Wells has an absolutely top class field of players with just 2 of the Top 78 ranked players in the world in women’s tennis not playing.
There are 32 seeded players who all have a BYE in the 1st round. Therefore 64 players play in the 1st round with the 32 winners joining the 32 seeds in the 2nd round or round of 64. There are 8 main draw wild cards and 12 spots reserved for qualifiers. The qualifying draw will have 48 players, which means that you need to win 2 matches in a row in order to qualify.
This year there are 2 days of qualifying rounds, they are Monday 8 March and Tuesday 9 March. On both days the matches begin at 10am local time and are played on the outside courts. On both days admission is FREE.
Stay tuned to this tennis website for further information and results at Indian Wells for both the men and women’s events including: the schedule of play, the seeding, wild cards as they are announced, the qualifiers, the draw, results, the prize money and how the ranking points are allocated.
Click this link for more details -> Indian Wells 2010: Mar 12-21.
Today’s POST is dedicated to Jan Kodes. Kodes was born on this day in 1946. The Czech won 3 Grand Slam singles titles including back to back French Open’s in 1970-71 and the 1973 Wimbledon Championship. He first achieved his highest career ranking of World No.5 on September 1973.
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photo credit: chascow