Indian Wells, California

March 8 - 21, 2021

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‘Odd but exhilirating’ men’s doubles teams a desert dream

Monday, March 4, 2019 - Novak Djokovic practices during the BNP Paribas Open in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)

by Jeff Donaldson

Some of these doubles pairings are just too good to be true.

Not to be outdone by a star-studded women’s doubles draw, the men’s doubles draw this year at the BNP Paribas Open features the unique player combos we’ve come to love as the ATP Tour’s top players look to make the most of their two-week visit to Tennis Paradise.

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It’s hard not to notice world No. 1 and reigning Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in the draw. The owner of just one doubles title in his career, seeing his name in any doubles draw, let alone next to the name of his surprising partner here in the Indian Wells desert.

The effervescent Fabio Fognini will partner with the Serbia’s finest export in a pairing that won’t be short on personality.

Singles world No. 3 Alexander Zverev teams up once again with brother Mischa Zverev – who coincidentally might face each other in the second round of singles – in a successful partnership that claimed the title less than a week ago at the ATP 500 event in Acapulco. They join the GDOAT (Greatest Doubles Team of All Time), Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, as doubles partners related to each other. The two sets of brothers met in the first round in the desert last year, with the Brothers Bryan advancing in Tennis Paradise.

Other noteworthy teams include flashy youngster Denis Shapovalov joining up with veteran doubles expert Rohan Bopanna, while Shapovalov’s Canadian compatriot Milos Raonic joins forces with France’s Jeremy Chardy, against whom he owns a blistering 7-0 singles record.

Top American John Isner, last year’s champion with partner Jack Sock, will play top seeds Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert alongside Sam Querrey in the first round. The Frenchmen are fresh off of achieving a Career Grand Slam this past January, where their Australian Open title completed their set of the sport’s top trophies.

You also won’t want to miss the exciting wild card pairings of established singles forces Stan Wawrinka and Lucas Pouille, an odd but exhilarating pairing of Taylor Fritz and Nick Kyrgios, and rising Americans Mackenzie McDonald and Reilly Opelka as doubles gets set to begin on Friday.


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