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The student news site of Freehold Township High School

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2024 Indian Wells Tournament Recap



Indian Wells, an ATP Masters 1000 event, has concluded for the 2024 tennis tour season. What many fans consider to be the unofficial “fifth grand slam,” this tournament draws the attention of millions of tennis fans across the globe. This year’s had led some thrilling match-ups and unexpected results. Here are some of the most note-worthy moments from 2024 Indian Wells Tournament.

Djokovic, who suffered a round of 32 upset to Italian Luca Nardi.

Djokovic Vs. The Lucky Loser

Novak Djokovic, one of the most renowned tennis players in the sport’s history with 24 grand slam titles, took a tough loss this Indian Wells. After coming  off a loss to Jannik Sinner in the Australian Open a couple months back, Djokovic was seeking his first title win in the 2024

Peter Menzelseason. In the round of 32, the Serbian star faced Luca Nardi, an Italian ranked outside of the top 100. Nardi was brought in as a “lucky loser,” a term coined to players that, despite losing during the qualifying rounds, are permitted to play due to the withdrawal of another player. In a shocking run of events, Nardi took down Djokovic in a three set battle. Nardi took the first set six games to four, followed by Djokovic fighting with a second set victory of six games to three, but the match concluded with a third set victory of six games to three for the Italian. As one of the favorites to win the California tournament, this was one of the biggest-upsets of the Serbian’s career, while also being just the beginning for young Italian Luca Nardi. 


Nadal’s Return, Or Not

Another name that will be remembered forever in the sport of tennis is that of Rafael Nadal. Otherwise known as Rafa, the Spanish legend holds 22 grand slams championships, and made it to the finals of Indian Wells just two years back in 2022. Nadal has been plagued with injuries in the recent tour seasons, and has been absent from most tournaments. Yet, with much excitement, Nadal announced he would participate in the Indian Wells draw this year. However, the night before his first match in months, and to many fans’ disappointment, Rafa announced his withdrawal from the tournament. Rafa explained that he did not yet feel ready enough to be competing at the highest level, and would need more time before he stepped back out onto the court.


Elena Rybakina, the Kazakhstani sensation who was forced to leave tournament play due to illness.

Rybakina’s Withdrawal

Elena Rybakina, the defending Indian Wells champion and seeded at number four in the national WTA rankings, is a serious competitor. With her rise to the top being rather recent, the tennis player from Kazakhstan made a name for herself by winning none other than the Wimbledon title in 2023. Rybakina’s career has been on a roll ever since Wimbledon; she has become a competitor not many players want to see in their bracket. Unfortunately, Elena was faced with disappointment as she was forced to withdraw from the competition in the round of 64 due to a gastrointestinal illness. While the young star has yet to grab a title this tour season, never count Elena Rybakina out in upcoming tournaments.


Winner Takes All

Despite the losses or withdrawals of many fan-favorite players like Novak Djokovic, there is always a winner. In the women’s bracket, the Polish number one, Iga Swiatek, faced the Greek number nine seed, Maria Sakkari. In a competitive battle, Swiatek came out on top, winning the first set by a slight margin of six games to four, but eventually pulling ahead to close it out in two sets with six games to love against Sakkari. In the men’s draw, fans saw two familiar faces, Russian star Daniil Medvedev, and the young Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. With Carlos holding the two seed and Daniil holding the four, it was a tight, competitive matchup between the athletes. Carlos took the first set in a tiebreak, winning seven points to five. While Daniil tried to hold on, Carlos overpowered him in the second set, winning six games to one. 


Indian Wells is one of the most exciting times of year for both fans and players. The tournament  consistently holds surprises and enthralling match-ups. With it still being early in the tour season, there is no way to expect what we will see from each player as the season continues on, but the competition will only get stronger between these talented athletes. 


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