The BNP Paribas Open is known for attracting some unique power pairings, often luring singles players to the doubles court. Examples: Rafael Nadal twice joined fellow Spaniard Marc Lopez to take the doubles title in Indian Wells (2010, 2012); and Lindsay Davenport won six doubles titles in the desert between 1994 and 2003 with a variety of partners, including Lisa Raymond, Natasha Zvereva and Corina Morariu.
Here are five teams to keep an eye on in 2022:
Nick Kyrgios (AUS)/Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)
The Down Under duo of longtime pals Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis took the Australian Open by storm, thrilling fans with their flashy play in only their fourth appearance together at a Grand Slam. They would defeat four seeded opponents en route to the title, defeating countrymen Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell, 7-5, 6-4, in the trophy match. “This week has been a dream come true for me,” said Kyrgios. “I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else.” The BNP Paribas Open wild cards are sure to brings out the crowds at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. They’ll need all the support they can get against the prolific pairing of Brazilian Marcelo Melo and Croat Ivan Dodig, the 2015 Roland Garros champions.
Dayana Yastremska (UKR)/Ivanna Yastremska (UKR)
Considering all the uncertainty in their native Ukraine, that they were whisked out of their homeland, it’s a testament to the Yastremska sisters’ resolve that they are competing here in Indian Wells. Ivanna, all of 15, made her main-draw debut only days ago in Lyon and will once again take the court alongside Dayana. The sibling pairing will open against the Romanian duo of Irina-Camelia Beghu and Monica Niculescu.
Coco Gauff (USA)/Caty McNally (USA)
The all-American team of 17-year-old Coco Gauff and 20-year-old Caty McNally — aka McCoco — has become a fan-favorite, and for good reason. The young duo has collected titles in Parma, Washington, D.C., and Luxembourg, and last year punched its way to the its first major final at the US Open (l. to Sam Stosur/Shuai Zhang, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3). Gauff/McNally will open against countrywomen Lauren Davis and Christina McHale.
Alize Cornet (FRA)/Leylah Fernandez (CAN)
It was hard not to get caught up in 32-year-old Alize Cornet’s feel-good run to her first major quarterfinal in her 63rd attempt at the Australian Open, where she stunned the likes of No. 3 seed Garbiñe Muguruza and No. 15 seed Simona Halep. The Frenchwoman will team up with 19-year-old US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez of Canada in the desert. Their first challenge comes in the form of reigning US Open doubles champs Sam Stosur and Shuai Zhang.
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)/Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
The cross-generational wild-card tandem of 23-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas and 40-year-old Feliciano Lopez is coming off an unforeseen title run in Acapulco, where the Greek-Spanish teammates downed Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer to take the trophy. Who knows, the discipline might just catch on for Tsitsipas, now ranked No. 4 in singles. “I don’t really get to play doubles a lot,” Tsitsipas told BNPParibasOpen.com. “I think it’s a very relaxing way of getting something fresh into the game, not falling into that pattern of always playing singles, which is my favorite thing to do. But it’s quite refreshing sharing some moments with Feli in the doubles field and having a little bit of fun. I honestly wasn’t aiming for any titles that week [in Acapulco]. I just enjoyed every single moment with him. Regardless of whether we lost or won, it was all about having the best time I could out there and playing some amazing points with him.”