As befitting its location at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and (almost) springtime spot on the schedule, the BNP Paribas Open—which runs through March 18—went all in with a “full bloom” theme this year. The theme could be found in its marketing materials, event signage and in a beautification project to the site itself that included 62 palm trees, new fountains and floral installations that proved particularly popular for selfies by the fans. Perhaps with all those flowers as encouragement, the tournament saw a rare occurrence this year: a desert rain shower that delayed the Saturday night matches.
New offerings at this year’s event also included the addition of popular local restaurant Wally’s Desert Turtle as the second restaurant (alongside Nobu) to overlook the court in Stadium 2 and a much talked-about bonus of $1 million to any player who captures both the singles and doubles titles at the 2018 event—something that has only happened six times since the tournament began in 1978.
The BNP Paribas Open has always been unique in the number of players in both the singles and doubles draw. “We know how much our fans love to watch doubles at our tournament,” said BNP Paribas Open Tournament Director Tommy Haas. “And we want to give them the best possible doubles fields.”