It's the time for one of the most exciting periods in every year's tennis calendar, as the Sunshine Double is just around the corner. The American swing of two monumental tournaments - Indian Wells and Miami Open, is just around the corner. We start the action today, as the first qualifying round starts in beautiful Indian Wells Tennis Garden, placed in the desert landscape of California. Both the WTA 1000 and ATP 1000 tournaments will be played in the next two weeks, before the move to Miami, where the action will take place in the fabulous Hard Rock Stadium for another year in a row.
The qualifying stage, divided on two rounds, which take place on Monday and Tuesday, will emerge 12 qualifiers who earn their place in a main draw, composed of 96 top players in both WTA and ATP competitions. 32 players, who are best-ranked among all the main-draw participants, will get a bye in first round and will be seeded in second round, which takes place on Wednesday and Thursday.
The list of males, who will miss the tournament in California is quite shocking this year, as many top notch players deal with the injury issues and will miss the first part of Sunshine Double with a pre-tournament's withdrawals. Today, the tennis world got electrified by the news, that this list is supplemented by Novak Djokovic. The world's ranking leader started the season brilliantly, winning his 10th career's Australian Open title and scoring 15 wins in a row before the first season's loss against Daniil Medvedev in last week's semifinal of ATP 500 in Dubai. Djokovic will not participate in Indian Wells though, as the Serbian does not possess the Covid-19 vaccination proof, which could allow him to enter the United States. "Nole" was trying to being granted with an access for the Sunshine Double, but despite the intercession of tournaments hosts, he did not get any approval for that and decided to withdraw before the main draw's reveal.
Rafael Nadal is another tennis "GOAT", who will be sadly missed in the Tennis Paradise, as the Spaniard is healing himself from the injuries suffered during Australian Open. Nick Kyrgios has not recovered yet from the issues which prevented him to even start the season so far. Marin Cilic, who has undergone the knee surgery is also out. All those players will surely miss both the Indian Wells and Miami. Djokovic though, will probably still try to fight for the US entrance before the Miami Open which starts in 2 weeks. Sebastian Korda, David Goffin, Benjamin Bonzi, Jenson Brooksby, Corentin Moutet, Soon Woo Kwon and Reilly Opelka are the others, who need to miss the Indian Wells tournament.
A few women have withdrawn before the tournament as well. Qinwen Zheng is the best ranked female, who will not participate in Indian Wells, alongside other withdrawals like Ana Bogdan, Anett Kontaveit or Camila Osorio.
Before the start of qualifying, some players were granted with wild cards for the main draw. On the women's side, the WC receivers are: Caty Mcnally, Katie Volynets, Dayana Yastremska, Emma Navarro, Peyton Stearns, Elizabeth Mandlik, Sofia Kenin and Ann Li.
Yibing Wu, Dominic Thiem, Aleksandar Kovacevic, Jack Sock and Brandon Holt got the wild cards for the ATP main draw. Those players will not need to climb through the qualifying, which are headlined by the top seeds like Dusan Lajovic, Nuno Borges, Denis Kudla and Emilio Gomez. Here is the ATP qualifying draw:
The main draw will be revealed during the official ceremony, which is about to take place today at 3:00 PM local time in Indian Wells Tennis Garden.