In another sign that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic may be behind us, the Desert Sun’s Andrew John writes that BNP Paribas Tournament officials have just announced that the 2021 BNP Paribas Open has been re-scheduled for October. The BNP Paribas Open Tournament was initially scheduled to run earlier this year from March 8th to March 21st at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Exact dates for the October event will be announced in mid-June when the ATP and WTA schedules are finalized. Tickets are expected to go on sale on June 21st . Plans are for Plans are for the tournament to return to its normal March dates in 2022. 

As background, the BNP Paribas Open, sometimes referred to as the unofficial fifth tennis Grand Slam event, is the second-largest professional tennis tournament in the country and fifth-largest in the world. In 2019, a record 475,372 fans attended the two-week event. 

October's event will be the first in Indian Wells since March 2019, when Canada’s Bianca Andreescu won her first major tournament prior to winning the U.S. Open. Austria's Dominic Thiem won the men’s event for his biggest singles title before winning the U.S. Open last September. Thiem and Andreescu are expected to return to defend their 2019 singles titles. A big question will be which star tennis players will play in the event. Five-time BNP Paribas Open men’s champion Roger Federer and Serena Williams will both be 40 by the time this year’s BNP Paribas Open is played; Venus Williams is 41 years old. Thiem and Andreescu are expected to return to defend their 2019 singles titles. Five-time BNP Paribas Open men’s champion Novak Djokovic, the top-ranked men's player, and 2018 BNP Paribas Women’s champion Naomi Osaka are each coming off singles titles at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year and are likely to return to this year’s event.

Read Andrew John’s original article, courtesy of The Desert Sun, at:

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