Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the US legendary tennis venue in the desert. Who was the man behind the renowned tennis sanctuary, and why is it considered one of the most prestigious tournaments in the tennis calendar? Who are the winners since its inauguration in 2000. Let’s take a look.
The History of Indian Wells Tennis
The amazing Indian Wells Tennis Garden (most recent venue for the BNP Paribas Tennis Open) was the brainchild of American tennis legend and owner of the BNP Paribas Open, Charlie Pasarell (see below), who joined forces with former tennis player Raymond Moore and the late Mark McCormack to privately fund the awe-inspiring development of the venue at the start of the new millennium. In 2009, Oracle Co-Founder and CEO and tennis enthusiast Larry Ellison became the owner of both the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and BNP Paribas Open, with a mission to carry out Pasarell’s vision and dedication to improving the facility and creating a tennis destination in the desert.
The Indian Wells Masters, also known as the Indian Wells Open and BNP Paribas Open, is an annual tennis tournament usually held in early- and mid-March at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, United States. The present owner is billionaire Larry Ellison, executive chairman and co-founder of Oracle. The tournament director is former world No. 2 player Tommy Haas. The tournament is a Masters 1000 event on the men’s tour and is a WTA 1000 event on the women’s tour.
Between 1974 and 1976 it was non-tour event and between 1977 and 1989 it was held as part of the Grand Prix Tennis Tour. The event is one of two tour events (along with the Miami Open), other than the Majors, in which main draw play extends beyond eight days. The women’s main draw usually starts on Wednesday and the men’s main draw starts on Thursday. Both finals are held on Sunday of the following week. Both singles main draws include 96 players in a 128-player grid, with the 32 seeded players getting a bye (a free pass) to the second round.
The tournament is played on hardcourt, violet in colour and is the best-attended tennis tournament outside the four Grand Slam tournaments, it is often called the “Fifth Grand Slam”. It has the second-largest permanent tennis stadium in the world, behind New York City’s Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Charles Manuel Pasarell Jr. (born February 12, 1944) is a Puerto Rican former tennis player, tennis administrator and founder of the current Indian Wells tournament. He has also commented for the Tennis Channel and with Arthur Ashe and Sheridan Snyder formed the National Junior Tennis League. He was ten times ranked in the top ten of the U.S. and No. 1 in 1967 and world No. 11 in 1966. Representing the United States as a player, he has been heavily engaged in the administration of the professional game from the inception of the ATP in 1972 and has been Vice President when he was still playing and until recently on the Board of Directors representing the Americas tournaments. In 2013, Pasarell was elected into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Passarell the Junior Player
He is also known as Charlito (“Little Charlie”) because his father had the same name and was also a gifted tennis player, being the champion of Puerto Rico six times in the 1950s.
Pasarell was a prestigious junior and first appeared on the cover of “World Tennis Magazine” at the age of 11 in 1955. He won over half dozen Orange Bowl titles and five US junior titles including the US juniors in singles and doubles with Clark Graebner in 1961.
Charlie competed in major tournaments from 1960 through 1979, turning Pro in 1968. He enjoyed success in both singles and doubles, winning 23 titles on the singles circuit making it to No.11 in the world in 1966 and 30 titles in doubles, ranked highest 22 in 1977.
About the Indian Wells Tennis Garden
The Indian Wells Tennis Garden opened in March 2000 with the vision of becoming a world-renowned tennis sanctuary that would earmark the start of a new era of tennis for all – professional and amateur players, visitors, sponsors and media alike. Today, that vision has come to life in the form of Tennis Paradise, as the destination has appropriately become known. Widely considered one of the most picturesque and premier venues in all of sports, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden boasts the world’s second largest outdoor tennis stadium (16,100 capacity Stadium 1); an 8,000 seat capacity Stadium 2; 29 regulation hard courts; a beautiful member lounge; and spacious fitness center and locker rooms. The 54-acre tennis mecca hosts a wide variety of sports and entertainment events, including the crown jewel of professional tennis, the BNP Paribas Open – the largest combined men’s and women’s tennis tournament in the world.
Recent years and renovations
Under Ellison’s tenure, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden blossomed into the venue it is today, earning the moniker Tennis Paradise, and a firm spot at the top of any tennis lover’s bucket list. True to his commitment to provide tennis players, fans and visitors with the best experience anywhere in the world, Ellison oversaw an extensive renovation ahead of the 2017 BNP Paribas Open, completely transforming Stadium 1 with new seating, a lowered court surface to accommodate recessed television cameras, a VIP Champions Club, remodeled suites and 21 new restaurants and concession areas. Outside of Stadium 1, a Stadium Plaza and “Superwall” were added to accommodate fans and provide a premium tournament viewing experience.
Winners at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden
Previous years ATP and WTA winners of the prestigious Singles Titles at Indian Wells include:-
- 2022 – Taylor Fritz/USA and Iga Swiatek/POL
- 2021 – Cameron Norrie/GBR and Paula Badosa/ESP
- 2019 – Dominic Thiem/AUT and Bianca Andreescu/CAN
- 2018 – Juan Martin del Potro/ARG and Naomi Osaka/USA
- 2017 – Roger Federer/SUI and Elena Vesnina/RUS
- 2016 – Novak Djokovic/SRB and Victoria Azarenka/RUS
- 2015 – Novak Djokovic/SRB and Simona Halep/ROM
- 2014 – Novak Djokovic/SRB and Flavia Bennetta/ITA
- 2013 – Rafael Nadal/ESP and Maria Sharapova/RUS
- 2012 – Roger Federer/SUI and Victoria Azarenka/RUS
- 2011 – Novak Djokovic/SRB and Caroline Wozniacki/DEN
- 2010 – Ivan Ljubicic/HRV and Jelena Jankovic/SRB
- 2009 – Roger Nadal/ESP and Vera Zvonareva/RUS
- 2008 – Novak Djokovic/SRB and Ana Ivanovic/SRB
- 2007 – Rafael Nadal/ESP and Daniela Hantuchova/SVK
- 2006 – Roger Federer/SUI and Maria Sharapova/RUS
- 2005 – Roger Federer/SUI and Kim Klijsters/BEL
- 2004 – Roger Federer/SUI and Justine Henin/BEL
- 2003 – Lleyton Hewitt/USA and Kim Klijsters/BEL
- 2002 – Lleyton Hewitt/USA and Daniela Hantuchova/SVK
- 2001 – Andre Agassi/USA and Serena Williams/USA
- 2000 – Àlex Corretja/ESP and Lindsay Davenport/USA
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