Season 1 of the ATP Masters Series to Miss Many Top Players
The second major event of the season kicks off in Indian Wells on Wednesday 7 March. We missed many stars at the Australian Open. Some of those who missed the first “Helmet” managed to recover – for example, Kei Nishikori, but there are still plenty of injured ones. Indian Wells won’t have seven top 40 players, which is a lot.
Nadal will miss the American streak with a thigh injury
Of course, the main loss is Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard withdrew from the match against Marina Cilic at the Australian Open due to a leg injury and did not take part in professional competitions again. At the same time, he trained on the Mexican island of Cozumel on the territory of the hotel, of which he is a co-owner. Nadal was preparing for the tournament in Acapulco, but the Spaniard withdrew literally a day before the planned entrance to the court. “Unfortunately, in the final training session, I again felt a sharp pain in exactly the place that worried me at the Australian Open” . A little later, Rafael clarified that pain sensations appeared in the right thigh. Nadal did not have time to recover to Indian Wells and immediately starred with Miami. Thus, the Spaniard expects to return to court for clay competitions.
Recall that at a press conference after the match with Cilic in Melbourne, Nadal criticized the ATP leadership. In his opinion, the abundance of tournaments on hard surfaces increases the injury rate. In this regard, the competitions in Indian Wells and Miami are just one of the most dangerous, so in some sense it may even be good that Nadal, who is prone to injury, will miss the American series. Now he has dropped to second place in the world rankings, but even without a game, he could become the first again if Federer, who won both California and Florida a year ago, does not manage to defend enough points.
Goffen’s ridiculous injury
Two more top-10 players will not perform in Indian Wells: David Goffen and Stan Wawrinka. The Belgian loves and knows how to play a lot. Over the past three seasons, he has competed in 26 of the 27 Masters 1000 events. He would have played this week, if not for the very strange injury he received at the tournament in Rotterdam in the match with Grigor Dimitrov. Goffin at the beginning of the second set went to the net and after a stroke of the Bulgarian tried to play from the air, but the ball, after contact with the racket, flew not into the court, but into the eye. David was forced to withdraw from that match, as well as from Indian Wells and the Davis Cup meeting. Fortunately, Goffin was not seriously injured, but, according to him, the eye still bothers him.
Wawrinka decided to train for now
Californian viewers will not see Wawrinka. The Swiss, who underwent knee surgery last season, cannot fully recover. Stan has taken part in four tournaments this season and won just three matches. With all due respect to Tennis Sandgren, Mirza Basic, Tallon Grikspor and Ilya Ivashka, the Swiss, playing even 70% of his capabilities, should beat any of them with ease. In each of these matches, it was noticeable that now Wawrinka is simply not able to reach his previous level. “I spoke with my team and decided that at the moment it would be best for me to continue active training and not play in the official starts yet. My goal is to find my tennis again, and to achieve this goal I will work actively every day “, – said the Swiss.
Dolgopolov switched to winter sports
Alexander Dolgopolov, who has not played with the Australian Open, has replenished the injured hospital. Due to a wrist injury, the Ukrainian first withdrew from two competitions in South America, and now from Indian Wells. The good news is that Dolgopolov does not need to defend big points – he lost in the second round a year ago. Now the Ukrainian is in Kiev. “If you can’t do basic work, try something else. Winter Rally “, – he wrote on his Instagram.
Tsonga and Gasquet injured their knee
If Alexander can do some kind of physical activity, then the possibilities of the French Jo-Wilfried Tsong and Richard Gasquet are severely limited. Tsonga and Gasquet, as well as Wawrinka, will miss Indian Wells with a knee injury. Jo-Wilfried underwent surgery on this part of the body back in 2008. Unfortunately, the knee still reminds of itself quite often and forces you to withdraw from various competitions. This time Tsonga hurt him in the semifinals of the tournament in Montpellier with Luc Pouillet. Jo-Wilfried won the first set 6: 1, in the second he had match points, but without realizing them, with a score of 5: 5, he decided to end the meeting. If Tsonga lost a year ago in California in the first match, then Gasquet still had to defend the fourth round. Like his compatriot, Richard was injured during the meeting in Rotterdam.
Murray intends to return to clay tournaments
Finally, Andy Murray will be another top-level tennis player who will miss the tournament … This week, the Briton for the first time in 12 years has ceased to be the first racket of his country, and yet more recently he was the first racket of the world. In early January, it became known that Murray had undergone hip surgery and would miss at least 3.5 months. As such, he will definitely not play in Indian Wells and Miami, but plans to return sometime in the middle of the clay season.
All the strongest will play for women
Yes, the composition of the men’s tournament could have been more impressive, but there are still enough strong tennis players. Women do not have any loud refusals: all 25 leading tennis players must play in the tournament. So, for the first time since the Australian Open-2016, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova will compete in the same competition. Recall that the first two took a break because of the birth of children (and Azarenka could not travel outside California for some time due to the lawsuit over custody of her son), and Sharapova missed 15 months due to disqualification.
The upcoming tournament is interesting for another reason. The organizers announced that the player who wins both singles and doubles will be entitled to a bonus million dollars. Largely due to this, the women’s pair mesh is replete with star names. Within a week and a half, a small town in California with a population of less than 4000 thousand people will become the capital of world tennis.