BNP Paribas Open: Anecdotes and Headlines from Qualifying to the Semifinals


Photo courtesy of the Chaparral. Spectators watch as WTA hopefuls square off at Indian Wells.


Pre-Tournament Headlines

The Coachella Valley’s annual tennis tournament has arrived. The 2023 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells will host some of the top tennis players in the world during the two week event. With the two qualifying days in the books, the stage is set.

The big news out of Indian Wells is that World #1 Novak Djokovic and #8 Rafael Nadal have both withdrawn from the tournament. Djokovic was forced to withdraw from the tournament for the 4th straight year,

Photo courtesy of the Chaparral. Spectators tune into a qualifying match at the BNP.

the past 2 times due to his Covid Vaccination status. Nadal is suffering from a lingering hip flexor injury that he sustained during the Australian Open. In the 2022 Open, Nadal finished 2nd place to Southern California native Taylor Fritz. Also to withdraw is the controversial yet fan favorite Australian Nick Kyrgios, current world #22.

Taylor Fritz enters the BNP as the ATP World #5, and #1 players in the US. Fritz enters the tournament looking to become the 8th man in tournament history to win back to back BNP tournaments. 21 year old world phenom and WTA World #1 Iga Swiatek enters the women’s field as defending champion as she looks to become only the 3rd women to win back to back BNP tournaments

Qualifying Round Standouts 3/6-3/7

Crowd Favorite Thanasi Kokkinakis looked sharp in both of his qualifying round matches, winning each in straight sets which including 19 total aces.

Fellow Australian Alexei Popyrin also stood out in both of his matches and quickly became a crowd pleaser despite splitting his matched with a win and loss. He displayed impressive power, finesse, and athleticism which included 22 aces and a handful of exciting rallies.

Hungarian Dalma Galfi split her two matches, winning her first in straight sets against Ana Konkub behind 4 aces and 0 double faults. After losing her second match to Katie Swan, elimination was on the horizon for Galfi. That was until the withdrawal of Tamara Korpatsch which secured Galfi a spot in the round of 128.

Meanwhile at only 18 years old, American Ashlyn Krueger and WTA #155 earned her spot in the main draw after s

Photo courtesy of the Chaparral. Indian Wells crowd watches as two WTA competitors hope to qualify for the round of 128.

licing her way through both qualifying matches in straight sets.

Round of 128

Dalma Galfi made the most of her second chance in the opening round of the BNP by defeating Danielle Collins in straight sets. Galfi will face Caroline Garcia in the round of 64.

20 Year old America Ben Shelton made his BNP debut against Italian Fabio Fognini in straight sets. Shelton’s victory sets the stage for an anticipated matchup with fellow American sensation and defending BNP champion Taylor Fritz. The two have yet to square off against each other which will surely add to an intriguing battle between the two young American stars.

Stalwart of the sport Andy Murray opened his tournament run against Tomas Martin Etcheverry. Murray outlasted Etcheverry in a marathon that eclipsed the 3 hour mark, 6-7, 6-1, 6-4. Murray will face Pablo Carreño Busts in the round of 64.

Photo courtesy of the Chaparral. The crowd watches in anticipation of an ace serve.

Round of 64

Former ATP World #1 and current #2 Carlos Alcaraz entered the tournament as the favorite. In his opening round the Spaniard drew Thanasi Kokkinakis who was on a run of his own Indian Wells. Alcaraz made quick work of Kokkinakis in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. Alcaraz will face Tallon Griekspoor in the round of 32.

Photo courtesy of the Chaparral. Fans look on as WTA opponents square off in Tennis Paradise.

Casper Ruud won his opening tournament match against Diego Schwartzman. Ruud, from Norway, makes it back to the round of 32 where he lost in 2022 to Nick Kyrgios. Ruud will face off against Chilean Christian Garin. Ruud is currently the ATP world #4

The highly anticipated matchup between two young Americans lived up to the hype. Ben Shelton came out hot against defending champion Taylor Fritz 6-4. Fritz however showed what it takes to be a champion and overcame a rocky start, winning his next to sets  6-4 and 6-3 to take the match. Fritz will face Sebastian Baez in the round of 32

After a bye in the round of 128, Maria Sakkari defeated Shelby Rogers 2-6, 6-4, 6-0. Sakkari was the subject of the popular Netflix Tennis series ‘Break Point’. The series followed Greece’s Sakkari in the 2022 BNP Open, where she inevitability lost in the championship final to Iga Swiatek. Sakkari is scheduled to face Anhelina Kalinina in the round of 32.

Photo courtesy of the Chaparral. Tournament goers enjoy a midday match in sunny Indian Wells.

Dalma Galfi was eliminated from the tournament after falling to Caroline Garcia 1-6, 7-6, 4-6.

Photo courtesy of the Chaparral. Spectators pour into Court 2 of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on the first day of the tournament.

Round of 32

For the second time in as many years Casper Ruud met his fate in the round of 32, losing in straight sets to Cristian Garin. The ATP #4 Ruud has yet to win back to back matches in his four tournament appearances in 2023. Ruud’s next chance to turn his year around will come at the Miami Open later this March.

Carlos Alcaraz and Taylor Fritz both continued their won, each winning in straight sets. The two seem to be on a collision course as both the tournament favorite and defending champion.

22 year old Canadian phenom Felix Auger Aliassime continued his run with another straight set victory against Francisco Cerundolo. Auger Aliassime reaches the round of 16 this year after being eliminated in the 2022 BNP in the round of 64. He will face Tommy Paul.

Much like Alcaraz and Fritz, Maria Sakkari and Iga Swiatek are on a course to square off. Sakkari won in three sets while Swiatek continued her dominance in another straight set win.

Facing Swiatek is Emma Raducanu. Raducanu is a former WTA World #10 and current #77. There were not many expectations for Raducanu coming into the tournament, but after an impressive run she poses a formidable challenge for the dominant Swiatek.

Round of 16


Felix Auger Alliasime faced his toughest match yet against Tommy Paul. The match went to 3 sets where in the third Auger Alliasime saved 3 match points and overcame a 3 point deficit in a tiebreak in his eventual win. Meanwhile Carlos Alcaraz was dominant as usual before opponent Jack Draper was forced to retire the match due to injury. The match resulted in a 6-2, 2-0 walkover. Alliasime and Alcaraz will face off in the quarterfinals in what is sure to be a classic battle between the two young stars.

Iga Swiatek continued her dominance by defeating the surprising Emma Raducanu in straight sets. Swiatek has yet to lose a set in the tournament and her opponents have only eclipsed more than 3 games won in a set once. Swiatek will face Sorana Cirstea in the quarterfinals.

19 year old American star Coco Gauff was victorious in her match against Rebecca Peterson. Gauff had been eliminated in the round of 32 in two previous BNP tournaments. Gauff will face off against Aryna Sabalenka.

Maria Sakkari and Taylor Fritz have also advanced to the quarterfinal.

Photo courtesy of the Chaparral. Crowds gather during the first matches of the BNP qualifying day.


In the most anticipated matchup of the quarterfinal round, Carlos Alcaraz showed why he is a a step above the competition. He defeated fellow young star Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. Alcaraz returns to the semifinal for the second consecutive year, where in 2022 he was ousted by fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal.

The ATP will not see a defending champion as Taylor Fritz was beaten 4-6, 6-4, 4-6 by Jannik Sinner of Italy. Sinner had won his four previous matches all in straight sets on his dominant run ton the semifinals where he will face the aforementioned Alcaraz.

Daniil Medvedev and Frances Tiafoe will duel in the semis after winning their respective matches. Medvedev’s highest finish at Indian Wells was in the round of 16 in 2021, while Tiafoe’s highest was in elimination in the round of 32 in 2022.

Iga Swiatek yet again won in almost effortless fashion, defeating Sorana Cirstea in 6-2, 6-3 straight sets. Swiatek will face Elena Rybakina in the semifinals Rybakina escapes the quarterfinal in 3 sets, the same round she was eliminated from in 2022 by Maria Sakkari.

Photo courtesy of the Chaparral. Players get practice reps on the main court ahead of the tournament.

Meanwhile, Maria Sakkari is back in the semifinals after defeating Petra Kvitova. Facing Sakkari will be Aryna Sabalenka, who eliminated American teen-star Coco Gauff. Sabalenka reaches the semifinals as the tournament 2nd seed after only reaching the round of 64 in 2022.


Carlos Alcaraz showed the Coachella Valley and the entire world why he is the ATP #2 by continuing his dominant run in Indian Wells with the defeat of Jannik Sinner. Alcaraz has yet to lose a set at Indian Wells in his 5 matches, in what is turning out to be a historic outing for the 19 year old star. His Finals opponent will be Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev defeated Americas last hope for a defending Champion in Frances Tiafoe. Daniil won in straight sets behind 9 aces.

Once again in the the tournament, the defending champion has fallen. Iga Swiatek was thoroughly outclassed in an upset performance by Elena Rybakina. Swiatek entered the match as a heavy favorite only to fall in straight sets 2-6, 2-6. Rybakina will face Aryna Sabalenka who also defeated her opponent, Maria Sakkari, in straight sets. This marks that both 2022 Finalists were eliminated in the semifinals.

For full match results and statistics click here