Indian Wells, California

March 8 - 21, 2021

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Five Things to Watch Sunday: Welcome Back, Novak!

Novak Djokovic

by BNP Paribas Open

Nole is fixed on six : Five-time BNP Paribas Open champ Novak Djokovic will make his much-anticipated return to the tour on Sunday after having played just four matches in eight months due to a right elbow injury. The Serb, the No. 10 seed, will meet Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel in Stadium 1 as he begins his quest for a record sixth trophy in Indian Wells.

Dream Runs: Come along for the ride as young Americans Sachia Vickery and Ernesto Escobedo continue their dream runs in Indian Wells. Following her career-best win over former No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza on what she called “the most amazing night of my life,” the Floridian will face Japan’s Naomi Osaka with a Round of 16 berth on the line. Escobedo, who had center-court dreams as a kid attending matches at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, will face Spanish vet Feliciano Lopez in the second round.

Ole, ole, ole, ole, Delpo, Delpo!: There are those who say Juan Martin Del Potro trails only Roger Federer when it comes to global popularity on the ATP World Tour. (It’s hard to argue with Delpo’s 3.26 million Twitter followers.) “People know about all my efforts to fix my wrist problems. I had three surgeries on my left wrist; one surgery on my right. I never gave up. I still deal with pain every day. It’s not easy to deal with at 29. People know that. They see me playing with love and passion. There’s all this love from the crowd, from the fans.” The 6-foot-6 Argentine, a runner-up here in 2013 (l. to Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-4), will face surging wild card Alex de Minaur of Australia.

Golden Girls: Top-seeded Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova of Russia — gold medalists at the Rio Games of 2016 — will face the Belarusian duo of Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka in a star-studded doubles matchup on Stadium 6. Vesnina, the BNP Paribas Open’s defending singles titlist, is eyeing the first-time $1 million bonus offered to the player who sweeps both the singles and doubles in 2018.

Sing us a song, you’re the Piano Man: The Killer Dueling Pianos take to the Village Stage on Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. This all-request, interactive show has something for everyone and is sure to have fans of all ages clapping, dancing and singing along.

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