The ATP Tour have announced that the Indian Wells Masters will be held in the fourth quarter of the ATP calendar in October this year, instead of its usual spot in March as the first half of the Sunshine Double. The tournament was postponed this year after being the first tournament cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Announcing the changes, ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said: “Since the resumption of the Tour in August 2020, we have had to take an agile approach to the calendar with the aim of staging as many of our events as possible. Everyone in our sport has missed the BNP Paribas Open over the past two years and its return this October is great for tennis. The calendar is extremely complex and I would like to thank all events in that section of the season, as we look to accommodate these changes for the benefit of the overall sport.”
Other changes to the fourth quarter of the season include a shift in the calendar for the Stockholm Open, the Kremlin Cup in Moscow and Antwerp’s European Open. The three tournaments were originally scheduled for week 42 of the season, but will now be held from November 7 to 13, the same week as the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.
In order to ensure ideal conditions for the players and, hopefully, fans, the ATP will continue to monitor the impact of Covid-19 and assess the provisional fourth quarter of the calendar, which also includes a three-week sequence of events in Asia ending in the Shanghai Masters. Currently, however, there is set to be a packed schedule of tennis in the United States between August and October.
The traditional North American hard-court swing is still set to begin in Toronto and Montreal with the Cincinnati Masters and US Open to follow. How the addition of the Indian Wells Masters to the calendar after the US Open will affect players is not yet clear, although it seems safe to assume that many will be glad to return to the Californian desert to play in ‘tennis paradise’. Equally, however, the draw may be missing some names now that the tournament is scheduled in the final stages of what looks like being a gruelling season for most.
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