by Will Boucek

September 7, 2021   

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The Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament takes place in sunny California and is one of the biggest pro tour events of the year.

It’s known as one of the most popular tournaments to attend because it has all the best players in the world, but isn’t quite as overcrowded as the grand slams. You’ll find that many native Californians who love tennis attend this tournament each year. Here’s a guide to the Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament for true fans of tennis.


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2021 Indian Wells: COVID-19 Update

Last Updated: July 5, 2021

  • As of December 29, 2020, the 2021 Indian Wells tennis tournament, which was set to be held from March 8-21, 2021, was postponed.
  • It was announced on July 1, 2021, that the Indian Wells tournament will be held October 4-17, 2021.
  • All fans, staff, sponsors, media, and vendors will be required to show proof of vaccination to attend.
  • We will update this page once more information is released.

Here is an update from the Indian Wells tennis tournament Twitter account:


About the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament

The Indian Wells Masters is also referred to by its sponsored name, the BNP Paribas Open, or the Indian Wells Open. BNP Paribas is a French banking corporation. They acquired the naming rights in 2009.

Indian Wells Masters logo

The tournament event itself has been around since 1974. Indian Wells is the fourth city the event has taken place in, starting out with Tucson, Arizona, then Rancho Mirage and La Quinta, California, and finally where it is held today, since 1987.

The tournament is part of the men’s (ATP) Masters 1000 and the women’s (WTA) Premier Mandatory event.

Where is the Tournament?

The Indian Wells Masters takes place in Indian Wells, California in the United States at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

It’s the second-largest outdoor tennis stadium in the world after the US Open’s Arthur Ashe Stadium. Stadium 1 seats 16,100 tennis fans. The location is near the Palm Springs area in the Coachella Valley.

When is the Indian Wells Masters Tournament?

The Indian Wells Masters usually takes place each year in early and mid-March.

It is the first of two tournaments that the tennis media calls the “Sunshine Double.” The second tournament is the Miami Open which starts the following week.

Indian Wells is about one month before the start of the clay-court season with the Monte Carlo Masters.

The 2020 Indian Wells tournament was canceled due to COVID-19.

This year, the dates for the 2021 Indian Wells Tournament were postponed in March due to COVID-19 concerns, and will now be held from October 4-17, 2021.

Who are the Current Indian Wells Champions?

The current champions of the Indian Wells Masters from 2019 are the following:

  • Men’s singles: Dominic Thiem (Austria)
  • Women’s singles: Bianca Andreescu (Canada)
  • Men’s doubles: Nikola Mektić (Croatia) and Horacio Zeballos (Argentina)
  • Women’s doubles: Elise Mertens (Belgium) and Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus)

What Court Surface is the Indian Wells Tournament Played On?

The court surface of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden is a hard outdoor surface. It’s made of Plexipave which is acrylic, ITF rated, and environmentally-friendly.

Indian Wells Prize Money & Ranking Points

The prize money for the 2019 Indian Wells Masters was $9 million dollars (USD).

The men’s (ATP) and the women’s (WTA) champions and runners-up received the same amount of money, in both singles and doubles. 

  • For singles, the winners in 2019 received $1.3 million, and the runner-ups got $686,000. 
  • For doubles, the winners in 2019 received $457,290, and the runner-ups got $223,170.

Here are the ranking points for the Indian Wells Masters:

Men’s Singles & DoublesWomen’s Singles & Doubles
Champion10001000
Finals600650
Semifinals360390
Quarterfinals180215
Rd. of 1690120
Rd. of 3245 singles | no doubles65 singles | 10 doubles
Rd. of 6425 singles | no doubles35 singles | no doubles

How to Get Tickets to the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament

The Indian Wells Masters has tickets available via their official website.

There are three stadiums at the tennis center that are simply called Stadium 1, 2, and 3. They offer reserved seating in different tiers of expense at each of the stadiums, in packages of seats for multiple days.

  • There are entire “series packages” for every day of the tournament.
  • You can also buy “mini packages” – which are three days each.
  • There is the option to purchase “single tickets” to different stadiums on the days that you want to go.

The ticket reseller Stubhub has open tickets available. You can sometimes get a really great deal on this website.

You can also check Vividseats for available tickets. You can easily see the day & times available, and a map of the stadium to pick seats.

How Do I See the Big Matches Like Federer, Nadal, or Serena?

In order to see the biggest matches, you are going to want to have tickets in reserved seats for Stadium 1. That’s the biggest of the three stadiums. The best and most famous players will be showcased in the finals at the grandest stadium.


Where to Stay in Indian Wells

There are many places to stay in California, but you are going to want to be in the Palm Springs area so that you are close to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. In doing so, you can avoid traffic as much as possible getting to and from the tennis center.

High-End Hotel Options

For high-end hotel options consider:

Both of these five-star resorts are two miles away from the tennis venue.

Budget-Friendly Options

For budget-friendly options, consider these options:

Both are three-star properties that are clean and family-friendly.

Airbnb

Airbnb is also an option that many people use to rent out rooms in their homes or entire apartments for people that come to the Palm Springs area. This is also the home of the famous music festivals, Coachella and Stagecoach, so many people are used to renting through Airbnb to out-of-towners coming to experience these events.


Getting Around Indian Wells

Most of the hotels in the area will offer a complimentary shuttle to the Indian Wells Masters each day of the event. You can also take a taxi or Uber to get to the stadium. There is the option to rent a car which will help you get around the expansive territory of California much easier when you want to explore on your own.

If you are more into public transportation, you can take the public bus that goes around the city of Indian Wells. There is a drop-off station right by the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.


How to Make Your Indian Wells Experience Great

The grounds of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden are enormous. Keep in mind that the entire facility is mostly outdoors. There are two 19,000 square foot coverings that will shade you a bit from the sun if you need a break.

There are three main stadiums which are numbered 1, 2, and 3. There are 20 other courts around the grounds as well. You can easily walk all over the complex to see matches from some of the top players in tennis from around the world.

When to Arrive at the Tournament

You want to get there early to enjoy everything the tournament has to offer. The gates open each day at 10 a.m. with lots of gorgeous greenery and scenery to look at. This is truly a glorious place that you aren’t going to want to miss as a tennis fan.

What to Bring with You

During the day, it can be hot, so bring light clothes, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. However, the desert can get cold at night, so bring a jacket if you plan to stay for night matches.

You can bring food and water into the grounds, but no alcohol. They will have alcohol available inside for purchase. Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes as well.

What to Expect Inside

It’s a fun and festive atmosphere inside for true tennis lovers. There are lots of shops, three fine dining restaurants, and plenty of action to soak up on the practice tennis courts. There is a year-round tennis club located there where members and their guests can play some tennis themselves.


How to Watch the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament On TV

If you can’t make the event in person, you can watch it live on the Tennis Channel and various ESPN stations. You can download the Tennis Channel app to stream it if you don’t have cable television.

Will Boucek

About the author

Will Boucek is the Founder & CEO of The Tennis Tribe. He has played and coached tennis for over two decades. Will is a strategy analyst for ATP & WTA tour players and coaches. He also tests the latest tennis racquets, shoes, & other gear from Wilson, Babolat, Head, Prince, and other tennis brands. He currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas where he plays USTA leagues & tournaments.

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