INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER Botic van de Zandschulp competes in BNP Paribas Open qualifying on October 05, 2021 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Did anyone see Botic Van de Zandschulp coming? If you were paying close attention, you might have. Armed with improved fitness and conviction, the unassuming Dutchman has quietly surged up the rankings and made his biggest splash at the US Open in September, reaching the quarter-finals. He was the only one to take a set off eventual champion Daniil Medvedev and upset No.8 seed Casper Ruud in the second round.
And his excellent 2021 campaign got even better on Wednesday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, qualifying for the main draw with a three-set win over Thai-Son Kwiatkowski. Doubt we’ll be seeing him in qualifying competitions much longer
Who said serve-and-volley has gone out of style? Packing a punch on serve and finishing points off at the net, Maxime Cressy has reintroduced a seemingly outdated style of tennis back into the game – and it’s earned him a place in the main draw.
At a career-high ATP ranking of No. 144, the 24-year-old American is making waves this year, scoring two wins at Grand Slams this year (career best results) and capped off his BNP Paribas Open qualifying campaign with a resilient win over Enzo Couacaud, 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-2.
Growing up just a couple hours west of Indian Wells in Los Angeles, Ernesto Escobedo always dreamed of playing the BNP Paribas Open and visiting the event as a kid was a treat.
Years later, he played on as a wild card, reaching the second round and playing in front of an enthusiastic crowd on Stadium 1. Though his career hasn’t always had an upward trajectory, he’s brought his best to the Coachella Valley once again, rolling past his qualifying opponents without the loss more than four games in a set.
It will be his second main-draw appearance at the event.
Coming off the back of three successful NCAA tennis seasons with the UCLA Bruins, Govind Nanda is showing he’s got what it takes to make it on the pro circuit with a strong showing in BNP Paribas Open qualifying.
The American of Indian descent recovered from a blowout first set against Mitchell Krueger in his qualifying opener to advance by a remarkable 0-6, 7-6(10), 7-5 scoreline, before pushing No. 14 seed Cem Ilkel to three sets, falling just short of the main draw.
42-year-old Ivo Karlovic has been a tennis professional since the start of the millennium and his first-round qualifying win over Brayden Schnur proved that he still has what it takes to compete at the upper levels of the sport.
Anchored by his massive serve, which hasn’t lost any of its lethal sting on the big points, he defeated the Canadian 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 to move to the final round of qualies, but was unable to overcome Emilio Gomez to reach the main draw.