With live sports and entertainment re-opening to fans across Southern California, the turnstiles at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden (IWTG) are churning in kind.
Regarded as one of the country's foremost sporting venues, the autumn of 2021 will see a trio of world-class events brought back to IWTG, headlined by the long-anticipated return of the BNP Paribas Open.
Placing spectator, athlete, employee and volunteer safety at the forefront of the marquee, IWTG has made a commitment to collaborate closely with both the CDC and Riverside County Health Department to ardently-ensure that each event is held with proper health protocols in place and attendee safety in mind.
World-class tennis is coming back to the desert.
Being played for the first time since March of 2019, the BNP, unofficially known as the game's "Fifth Grand Slam," returns to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for a rescheduled, October 4th - 17th, 2021 playing of the premier tournament; the most well-attended WTA and ATP tennis tournament in the world, the two-week fall version of the BNP will be played in front of live spectators. Ticket, suite and hotel packages are on sale are currently available for purchase.
In concert with the host site's commitment to safety, the tournament is in close consultation with a diverse committee of industry health professionals, including government officials, medical and safety experts and tennis industry stakeholders. All fans, volunteers, staff, sponsors, media, and vendors will be required to show proof of vaccination prior to entry. More details on specific protocols will be announced as the tournament nears.
Sans a 2020 playing of the BNP, 2019 singles champions Bianca Andreescu of Canada and Austrian Dominic Thiem serve as the event's defending title holders.
As a super segue from the return of the BNP, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden will host the 46th season of World Team Tennis (WTT). Scheduled for November 13-28, 2021, the event will consist of five teams playing 31 total matches at IWTG's Stadium 2 venue.
Known as the global leader in team tennis competition, the '21 season will feature the past four league champs, including the: San Diego Aviators (2016 champions); Orange County Breakers ('17); Springfield Lasers (2018-19); and the New York Empire (2020).
Rounding out the field is '20 runner-up, the Chicago Smash.
While the autumn appearance at IWTG represents a shift from WTT's traditional July season, the field will prove no less compelling. Among women competitors, former World No. 1 Kim Clijsters is back for her fourth season with the Empire, the Smash will feature 2017 U.S. Open champion, Sloane Stephens, and Jessica Pegula will play for Springfield.
On the men's side, John Isner, entering his ninth WTT campaign, will play for the Breakers, while the desert's own Taylor Fritz, America's top-ranked male, returns to play for the Aviators.
Multiple matches are played each day across the 16-day slate, and single match, season, and group tickets are now on sale, along with VIP seating options.
Rounding out the triple-threat calendar of fall events, the nation's fastest-growing sport returns to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden from December 6-14, 2021 for the Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships presented by Pickleball Central.
The dates represent a rescheduling from original plans to be held the month prior.
First played at IWTG in 2018, the '19 version of the championships turned out nearly 28,000 fans, earning the accolade as "Pickleball Tournament of the Year" from Racquet Sports Industry Magazine.
For December, more than 2,500 of the game's top players are expected to compete across a venue court transformation which will feature 48 championship pickleball courts and one stadium court.
After a 2020 hiatus from the championships, the event will return with live spectators, and interested fans should please visit here for upcoming information on tickets and attendance.
Per the preceding autumn events at IWTG, the Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships will operate with safety at the forefront of the scorecard, consulting with local health authorities and strictly adhering to all proper protocols.