Perhaps it’s because the Williams sisters refuse to partake, or maybe it’s due to the fact that women’s tennis is generally very competitive and surprising overall, but whatever the reasons may be, the past 8 years at the BNP Paribas Open have seen 8 different women’s champions, making it one of the most unpredictable tennis tournaments along the WTA Tour. With so many young girls rising in the sport, will there be a new champion in 2015?
Last year’s surprise star was Flavia Pennetta, an Italian who has been more successful in doubles play than singles. Nevertheless, she rose to the occasion and conquered the Indian Wells Masters, despite being just the 20th seeded player. Along her triumphant run she dispatched of top-5 players Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska.
But neither of those players has taken the BNP Paribas Open title, and that’s just the way this tournament has gone. The womens’ rankings are ever changing, and in a tournament that usually doesn’t involve top-ranked Serena Williams, the event is often wide open. But who knows, maybe Serena and Venus will end their 13-year boycott of the event in 2015…
If Serena Williams is present in Palm Springs, she will be highly favored to win it all (she actually has won it twice), but in many ways her absence gives the tournament a flavor of openness, especially since she’s really the only woman who has consistently dominated in the last decade. This gives a great opportunity for other players like Sloane Stephens or Madison Keys to make a statement.
But either way you put it, the nature of surprises and the varying womens’ champions makes the BNP Paribas Open one of the most exciting stops on the WTA Tour. Be sure to get tickets here to this wonderful tournament in March!
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