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Which Players Are Hot Heading Into The 2024 BNP Paribas Open?
3 Min Read · March 4, 2024

Form and confidence often dovetail in tennis. So heading into the BNP Paribas Open, these players are bound to be in good spirits after strong starts to the 2024 season. Starting off in our list of ‘Who’s hot’ is the sport’s newest Grand Slam winner.

Jannik Sinner

How tough is it to win the first event played after opening your Grand Slam account? Lleyton Hewitt was the last man to achieve the feat in 2001 — before Sinner emulated the Australian by taking the title in Rotterdam last month following his 2024 Australian Open triumph.

Sinner — whose on-court demeanor counters the fiery Hewitt — now possesses a 15-match winning streak as he readies for Indian Wells. The Italian last lost in November in the championship of the ATP Finals to Novak Djokovic. But Sinner handed Djokovic his first loss in Melbourne since 2018 en route to the Australian Open crown.


Ugo Humbert

Beware of Ugo Humbert, especially in finals. The French lefty has won 14 of his last 15 finals at all levels, adding to his tally at home in Marseille last month and in Dubai on Saturday to sit at a career-high No. 14 in the rankings. The lone final Humbert lost during that stretch? A nearly four-hour marathon at a Challenger in which he held two match points.

Alex de Minaur

De Minaur cracked the Top 10 for the first time in January — and returned there Monday after a fruitful last few weeks on Tour.

The Aussie — who idolized Hewitt and might even be faster than the former No. 1 in his prime — stretched Sinner to the brink in the Rotterdam final. After a first-round defeat in Los Cabos, de Minaur rebounded by going all the way in Acapulco to defend his title. There was no little to celebrate on site, though. He got on a flight to root on his girlfriend and fellow Tour player Katie Boulter, who duly picked up her second career title in nearby San Diego the next day.

Australia's Alex de Minaur successfully defended his title at Acapulco this past weekend.

Sebastian Baez

Like Sinner and de Minaur, Baez enters Tennis Paradise at a career best in the rankings after prospering on the South American ‘Golden Swing’ on clay. The Argentine claimed his first 500-level trophy in Rio, then followed it up in Santiago for a spot in the Top 20. He’ll be seeded in Indian Wells for the first time, too. 

And now for the WTA...

Elena Rybakina

Last year’s champion in the desert rebounded in February after her second round loss to Anna Blinkova at the Australian Open that featured the longest singles tiebreak in Grand Slam history (22-20). Rybakina only conceded one set en route to the title in Abu Dhabi and proceeded to make the final the next week at the WTA 1000 in Doha — beaten by Iga Swiatek. The 2022 Wimbledon winner picked up two more wins in Dubai, then pulled out due to stomach illness against the eventual champion, Jasmine Paolini.

Karolina Pliskova

With tournaments each week, tennis provides ample opportunities to players to end slumps. Case in point is Pliskova. Pliskova landed at the WTA stop in Cluj at No. 78, the lowest ranking in 11 years for the former No. 1. But the huge-serving Czech conquered Cluj, then overcame a quick turnaround to make the semifinals in Doha. Though she lost in the Round of 16 in Dubai, Pliskova stretched Grand Slam winner Coco Gauff to three sets.

Entering the Indian Wells main draw with a wild card, Pliskova is a surging sight that no seeded player will want to see in the early rounds.

Iga Swiatek

Swiatek entered Dubai by winning Doha for the third straight season, crucially edging a seesaw opening set against Rybakina. Rybakina had Swiatek’s number, too, prevailing in their previous three duels. The Pole and 2022 BNP Paribas Open Champion is once again finding her form as she makes her way to the desert where she has proven she loves to play.

Jasmine Paolini

With 17 players inside the Top 200, Italian men are thriving. But don’t forget about the women too, especially Paolini. The 5-foot-4 native of Tuscany made significant inroads on hard courts last season — eight of her first nine pro titles came on clay — including a quarterfinal in Cincinnati.

Paolini surpassed that in Dubai, downing a Grand Slam finalist (Leylah Fernandez) and two Grand Slam semifinalists (Beatriz Haddad Maia and Maria Sakkari) in the first three rounds. Her comeback qualities were on display against Kalinskaya in the final, rallying from a set and break deficit and 3-5 in the third.

As a result, Paolini finds herself at a career high No. 14 in the rankings.

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