The BNP Paribas Open, a Masters Series 1000 Tournament held annually, has a rich and storied history.
Staged at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens, the setting is lushly picturesque with its 12 courts bathed in the warm California sun.
The tournament’s roots go back to 1976 with its name changing as often as its sponsors.
The popular tennis event, however, had its beginning at its current Indian Wells locale in 1987.
Boris Becker won the inaugural men’s tournament at Indian Wells defeating Stefan Edberg in the final 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.
Since that time this premiere tennis tournament has attracted the top players from the men’s and women’s field.
Following upon the heels of the Australian Open, the one-two punch of Indian Wells and Miami, closes the early American hardcourt season, pressing the players toward the upcoming clay season.
To date, only three players in the tournament’s history have won the event more than twice–Americans Jimmy Connors, pre-Indian Wells, and Michael Chang who won the event in 1992 and then consecutively in 1996-1997.
Roger Federer is the only player to have won the tournament consecutively three times from 2004-2006.
The question looming on the horizon remains–who will win the title in 2011? Perhaps one of the seasoned veterans will reclaim his spot at the top or will one of the new up-and-coming players demand the trophy on the final Sunday?