Over the coming week, sixth seed Matteo Berrettini will look to crack the ATP Masters 1000 code for the first time when he takes to court at the BNP Paribas Open, starting against #NextGenATP Dane Holger Rune on Sunday.
The Italian has won five tour-level titles across ATP 500 and 250 level and advanced to the final at Wimbledon last season. However, the World No. 6 has yet to lift a Masters 1000 trophy, with his best run coming in Madrid in 2021 when he reached the championship match.
The Australian Open semi-finalist, who has never been beyond the third round in three previous appearances in Indian Wells, faces a tricky opening test against qualifier Rune on Stadium 1 in their first ATP Head2Head meeting.
Rune enjoyed a breakthrough 2021 season as he captured four ATP Challenger Tour crowns and competed at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals. The 18-year-old, currently at a career-high No. 86 in the ATP Rankings, earned his maiden Masters 1000 main draw win when he breezed past Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the first round.
“[The] next match is a huge test against Berrettini, so it’s going to be fun to see how it’s going to go,” Rune said when he was asked about taking on the 25-year-old. “For sure he’s a great player, one of the best in the world right now, so it’s going to be fun. Let’s see what happens.”
Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime will look to maintain his red-hot start to the season in the California desert as he begins his bid for a first Masters 1000 title.
Auger-Aliassime arrives in Indian Wells 15-4 on the season, having helped guide Canada to the ATP Cup title in January, before he clinched his maiden tour-level trophy in Rotterdam last month. The 21-year-old also advanced to the final in Marseille and reached the last eight at the Australian Open for the first time.
The ninth seed will carry a 1-0 ATP Head2Head series lead into his match against Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp on Stadium 4.
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Andrey Rublev will look to reach the third round in Indian Wells for the third consecutive time when he takes on German Dominik Koepfer on Stadium 3. The World No. 7 has regained his top form in the past month, soaring to back-to-back titles in Marseille and Dubai.
The 24-year-old, who has won five ATP 500 crowns, takes a 1-0 ATP Head2Head lead into his clash against World No. 51 Koepfer and is happy to be back in Indian Wells.
“I like the atmosphere here,” Rublev said in his pre-tournament interview. “The place is beautiful and relaxed. I am renting a house, which will be chilled with my team. It is nice being in front of the mountains.”
Third seed Alexander Zverev is aiming to clinch his first title of the year at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The German reached the quarter-finals at the hard-court tournament in 2021 and will open against Tommy Paul on Stadium 1, with the American leading their ATP Head2Head series 1-0.
“It is the first Masters of the year and one of the prettiest ones we have,” the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion said in his pre-tournament interview. “I think it is an event everyone enjoys. I am going into the tournament with the right mindset, so hopefully that will help. I’ve got to get my form back and start winning these tournaments.”
Former World No. 1 Andy Murray created more history on Friday when he earned his 700th tour-level win. The Scot, who reached the final in Indian Wells in 2009, battled past Taro Daniel to set up a third meeting against Alexander Bublik, with Murray leading the 24-year-old 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.
“This was a target I sort of set myself at the back end of last year,” Murray said following his 700th victory. “It’s a lot of wins. Obviously very happy to get it here, and let’s go for 800 now. “It does mean a lot to me because I know how difficult it’s been, certainly the past few years.”
Murray Milestone: Briton Reaches 700 Career Wins
The World No. 20 Taylor Fritz will lead the American charge on home soil on Sunday, facing Pole Kamil Majchrzak on Stadium 3. Fritz has fond memories in Indian Wells, having reached his first Masters 1000 semi-final at the event in 2021.
Grigor Dimitrov enjoyed a run to the last four in Indian Wells last season and will open his 2022 campaign against Australian Jordan Thompson on Stadium 4. The 14th seed Diego Schwartzman faces Emil Ruusuvuori, Marin Cilic plays Miomir Kecmanovic and Aslan Karatsev takes on American wild card Steve Johnson.
In doubles action, Australian Open champions Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios meet wild cards Isner and Jack Sock, while ATP Tour singles youngsters Sebastian Korda and Jannik Sinner play fourth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.
SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2022
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
WTA –  E. Raducanu (GBR) vs P. Martic (CRO)
WTA –  I. Swiatek (POL) vs  C. Tauson (DEN)
ATP –  M. Berrettini (ITA) vs [Q] H. Rune (DEN)
Not Before 6:00 PM
WTA –  S. Halep (ROU) vs  C. Gauff (USA)
ATP – T. Paul (USA) vs  A. Zverev (GER)
STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
ATP – [WC] S. Querrey (USA) vs  J. Isner (USA)
ATP –  A. Bublik (KAZ) vs [WC] A. Murray (GBR)
Not Before 3:00 PM
WTA –  M. Keys (USA) vs A. Riske (USA)
Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – [WC] J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA) vs [WC] T. Kokkinakis (AUS) / N. Kyrgios (AUS)
Not Before 8:00 PM
WTA –  D. Kasatkina vs  A. Kerber (GER)
STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
ATP –  A. Rublev vs D. Koepfer (GER)
ATP – K. Majchrzak (POL) vs  T. Fritz (USA)
WTA – [DA SR] L. Siegemund (GER) / V. Zvonareva vs [OSE] A. Cornet (FRA) / L. Fernandez (CAN)
Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – B. Nakashima (USA) vs  F. Tiafoe (USA)
WTA –  C. Dolehide (USA) / S. Sanders (AUS) vs [OSE] M. Keys (USA) / J. Pegula (USA)
STADIUM 4 start 11:00 am
ATP –  A. Karatsev vs [WC] S. Johnson (USA)
ATP – B. van de Zandschulp (NED) vs  F. Auger-Aliassime (CAN)
WTA – [Q] H. Dart (GBR) vs K. Kanepi (EST)
Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – J. Thompson (AUS) vs  G. Dimitrov (BUL)
ATP –  J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs S. Korda (USA) / J. Sinner (ITA)
STADIUM 5 start 11:00 am
ATP –  M. Cilic (CRO) vs M. Kecmanovic (SRB)
ATP –  D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs E. Ruusuvuori (FIN)
ATP –  A. de Minaur (AUS) vs [LL] J. Millman (AUS)
ATP –  P. Carreno Busta (ESP) vs [Q] J. Munar (ESP)
ATP –  W. Koolhof (NED) / N. Skupski (GBR) vs F. Delbonis (ARG) / C. Norrie (GBR)
STADIUM 6 start 11:00 am
WTA –  L. Samsonova vs D. Kovinic (MNE)
Second Round – ATP – O. Otte (GER) vs  H. Hurkacz (POL)
WTA – [LL] A. Kalinskaya vs  S. Cirstea (ROU)
Second Round – ATP – [WC] F. Lopez (ESP) / S. Tsitsipas (GRE) vs  T. Puetz (GER) / M. Venus (NZL)
First Round – ATP – K. Krawietz (GER) / A. Mies (GER) vs  R. Ram (USA) / J. Salisbury (GBR)
STADIUM 9 start 11:00 am
ATP – [PR] S. Gonzalez (MEX) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs S. Gille (BEL) / M. Middelkoop (NED)
ATP –  J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Shapovalov (CAN)
ATP – F. Bagnis (ARG) vs  L. Harris (RSA)
WTA –  D. Krawczyk (USA) / D. Schuurs (NED) vs M. Bouzkova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE)
WTA – E. Hozumi (JPN) / M. Ninomiya (JPN) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)