- TV Coverage Starts March 13, Culminates with Championships on March 17
- Osaka Defends Title; Djokovic, Federer Seek Sixth Crown in California Desert
ESPN’s first-ball-to-last ball coverage across TV and the ESPN app of the BNP Paribas Open from Indian Wells, Calif., will begin Wednesday, March 6. ESPN3 on the ESPN app will offer more matches and hours of competition than ever before, with fans having access to up to nine courts simultaneously (one more than last year) and a total of more than 600 hours, featuring all ATP and WTA matches not on an ESPN TV network.
The TV schedule of 25 live hours (up from 21) begins Wednesday, March 13, and includes the men’s semifinals on ABC on Saturday, March 16, and the women’s and men’s championships in an ESPN2 doubleheader Sunday, March 17, at 4 p.m. ET.
ESPN’s lead tennis host Chris Fowler will be joined by Darren Cahill, Chrissie Evert, Mary Joe Fernandez and Patrick McEnroe.
- Top-ranked Naomi Osaka, the reigning US Open and Australian Open champion, will defend the title, which was the first of her career.
- A top-notch field awaits Osaka, including No. 2 Simona Halep (2015 champion), No. 3 Petra Kvitova (Australian Open finalist), No. 4 American Sloane Stephens and No. 10 Serena Williams who has won the event twice, but not since 2001 (she boycotted it for many years).
- The 2018 men’s winner, Juan Martin del Potro, is still recuperating from injury, which leaves the door open to the all-time greats who have all enjoyed much success at this event: Novak Djokovic and last year’s finalist Roger Federer (five wins apiece at Indian Wells) and Rafael Nadal (three). Between them, that trio has taken 13 of the last 15 winner’s checks.
- Djokovic and Nadal top the rankings, followed by Sascha Zverev and Federer, fresh off his 100th career title, in Dubai. Last week’s other winner, Nick Kyrgios, is only ranked No. 33, but clearly can play with anyone, as evidenced by his march through Acapulco (defeated Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, John Isner and Zverev).
|Mar 6 – 17||2 p.m. – finish||BNP Paribas Open –
ATP & WTA feeds, up to 9 courts
|Wed, Mar 13||2 – 6 p.m.||BNP Paribas Open – Round of 16||ESPNEWS|
|Thu, Mar 14||2 – 6 p.m.||BNP Paribas Open – Quarterfinals||ESPNEWS|
|8 p.m. – MID||BNP Paribas Open – Quarterfinals||ESPNEWS|
|Fri, Mar 15||4:30 – 6:30 p.m.||BNP Paribas Open – Men’s Quarterfinal||ESPN2|
|MID – 2 a.m.||BNP Paribas Open – Women’s Semifinal||ESPN2|
|Sat, Mar 16||2 – 6 p.m.||BNP Paribas Open – Men’s Semifinals||ABC|
|Sun, Mar 17||4 – 9 p.m.||BNP Paribas Open – Men’s & Women’s Championships||ESPN2|
Next Tennis from ESPN
ESPN will have extensive coverage of the Miami Open presented by Itaú beginning Wednesday, March 20, including first-ball-to-last-ball coverage on ESPN3 and the ESPN app. TV joins on Tuesday, March 26, and continues through the semifinals and championships.