Thursday, March 9, 2023 - Hao-Ching Chan and Latisha Chan play against Leylah Fernandez and Taylor Townsend during the 1st round of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Kathryn Riley/BNP Paribas Open)
Coming to watch the doubles in Tennis Paradise this year? You better get there early if you want a seat – they’ve been the hottest ticket in the house with packed crowds over both days of doubles competition so far at the BNP Paribas Open.
But if you’ve missed any of the action, we’ve got you covered with a roundup of Desert Doubles action from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Four blockbuster players, two teams, one match. This one was a must watch during Thursday’s night session, and fans came out in swarms to watch the all-Canadian “Team Shauger” take on rising stars Holger Rune and Ben Shelton, who have been the talk of the town since skyrocketing up the rankings over the last six months.
It was the greater doubles experience of Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov (the two have played together since their teen years on Canada’s junior circuit) that ultimately paid off of them as they swept aside the Danish-American alliance in just under an hour.
2019 singles champ Bianca Andreescu and Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putinsteva turned heads when they were announced as wild card entrants into this year’s doubles event at the BNP Paribas Open, but unfortunately the partnership was short lived.
The Canadian-Kazakh duo put up a spirited fight (with a few laughter breaks in between points) but bowed out to the experienced doubles tandem of Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez in front of an absolutely packed Court 6 crowd.
If there’s one thing we know it’s that it’s usually standing room only for doubles in Indian Wells.
This is for Andreescu/Putintseva vs. Melichar-Martinez/Perez.
(That crowds have taste, obviously.) pic.twitter.com/6PFkAB0f2E
— Jeff Donaldson (@jdd_sports) March 10, 2023
Now this is definitely one we’d call an upset. Grigor Dimitrov and Hubert Hurkacz certainly have plenty of doubles pedigree despite being primarily singles players, but Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury have been on a tear over the last three years, winning three Grand Slams as a pair.
Nevertheless, it was the pin-point serving and baseline proficiency that helped Dimitrov and Hurkacz overcome their No. 2-seeded opponents, dispatching the doubles specialists in one hour, 26 minutes.
How about them lefties? You probably won’t find a more pleasant pair of players than southpaws Leylah Fernandez and Taylor Townsend, but they were absolutely ruthless on court against the Chan sisters, two career doubles stalwarts from Taipei.
They used their sliding serves from the ad court to perfect effect against their veteran opponents, pulling them off the court before finishing points with adept volleys at the net to earn an excellent straight sets victory.