|Website Official website||Category Masters 1000|
|Founded 1974; 43 years ago (1974)|
Location Indian Wells, California United States
Venue Indian Wells Tennis Garden
Surface Hard (Plexipave), Outdoors
The Indian Wells Masters, also known as BNP Paribas Open due to sponsorship reasons, is an annual tennis tournament held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, United States.
Current owner Larry Ellison, CEO and co-founder of Oracle, purchased the tournament and the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in December 2009.
The tournament is a Masters 1000 event on the men's tour and is a Premier Mandatory event on the women's tour. Between 1974 and 1990 it was a major tournament of the Grand Prix Tennis Tour and part of the Grand Prix Super Series. The event, held in March, is one of two tour events (along with the Miami Open), other than the Majors, in which main draw play extends beyond eight days. The women's main draw usually starts on Wednesday and the men's main draw starts on Thursday. Both finals are held on Sunday of the following week. Both singles main draws include 96 players in a 128-player grid, with the 32 seeded players getting a bye to the second round.
The tournament is played on hard courts and is the best-attended tennis tournament outside the four Grand Slam tournaments, with over 450,000 visitors during the 2015 event. It has the second-largest permanent tennis stadium in the world.
Indian Wells lies in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area), about 125 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
The tournament is played in the Indian Wells Tennis Garden (built in 2000) which has 29 tennis courts, including the 16,100-seat main stadium, which is the second largest tennis-specific stadium in the world. After the 2013 BNP Paribas Open the Indian Wells Tennis Garden started an expansion and upgrade of its facilities that includes a new 8,000 seat Stadium 2.
The tournament was founded by Charlie Pasarell and Raymond Moore.
Originally the women's tournament was held a week before the men's event. In 1996, the championship became one of the few fully combined events on both the Association of Tennis Professionals and Women's Tennis Association tours.
The BNP Paribas Open has become one of the largest events on both men's and women's tour, with 96 top professional players entering in the main draws. Dubbed "Grand Slam of the West", it is the most-attended tennis tournament in the world outside of the four Majors.
In 2009, the tournament and the Indian Wells Tennis Garden were sold to Larry Ellison.
Williams sisters controversy
Venus and Serena Williams, two very successful American players, refused to play the Indian Wells tournament from 2001 to 2014 despite threats of financial sanctions and rating point penalties. The two were scheduled to play in the 2001 semi-final but Venus withdrew due to an injury. Amid speculations of match fixing, the crowd for the final loudly booed Serena Williams when she came out to play the final and continued to boo her intermittently through the entire match, even to the point of cheering unforced errors and double faults. Williams won the tournament and was subsequently booed during the awards ceremony. The following month at the Ericsson Open, Richard Williams, Serena and Venus's father, claimed racial slurs were directed at him while in the stands. Neither Venus nor Serena played the tournament until 2015, when Serena Williams played in the tournament, ending her 14-year boycott of the event. Venus Williams ended her boycott by competing in 2016.