INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — The BNP Paribas Open featuring the men’s and women’s combined tennis tours will be played Oct. 4-17 in the Southern California desert after a 2 1/2-year hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The tournament will feature prize money of $15.3 million, organizers said Thursday. The men’s draw will include 56 players in singles and 28 teams in doubles. The women’s draw will have 96 players in singles and 32 teams in doubles.
Fans will be required to show valid proof of full vaccination to enter Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Depending on COVID-19 conditions at the time, additional testing and mask mandates in certain seating areas may be required by the Riverside County health department and the state of California.
Players will be required to follow protocols set by the ATP and WTA tours.
Dominic Thiem won the men’s title and Bianca Andreescu was the women’s champion when the event was last played in March 2019.
The event never began last year after a case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the Coachella Valley, where many players were already in the desert practicing.
The tournament typically draws upwards of 450,000 fans to Indian Wells, located 110 miles east of Los Angeles. It is referred to as the “fifth slam” because of its popularity among the players and its stature, ranking points and prize money that place it one rung below tennis’ four Grand Slam tournaments.
The two-week tournament will go back to its usual spot in March in 2022.
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