The Pacific Life Open is now called the BNP Paribas Open, but it still offers the same exciting, top tier tennis action you’ve come to expect. The BNP Paribas Open is a prestigious tennis tournament and a stop on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tour, the men's tennis tour, and the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Tour. The WTA ranks it as a Tier 1 tournament, and it is an ATP Masters Series event. This makes it the sixth largest and one of the most important tennis tournaments of the year. Players earn important ranking points and compete for almost three million dollars in total prize money.
The BNP Paribas Open is comprised of 96 singles players and 32 doubles teams in both the men's and women's brackets. It is held annually in California every March. The event was started in 1976, held in Palm Springs, California, and was only on the men's tennis tour. In 1989, the open became a stop on the women's tour as well. In March of 2000, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden was built and the BNP Paribas Open relocated to that venue. The Open is one of two tennis tournaments, besides the Grand Slam tournaments, that lasts for two weeks and combines male and female tennis.
Both the ATP and WTA tours are international events, and players from all over the world come to compete at the BNP Paribas Open. Former winners in men's tennis include Boris Becker, Michael Chang, Pete Sampras, Lleyton Hewitt, and Andre Agassi. In women's tennis, champions of the open include Martina Hingis, Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, and Justine Henin-Hardenne. Other competitors have included Venus Williams, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Tim Henman, Kim Clijsters, Marat Safin, Gustavo Kuerten, Rodger Federer, Jennifer Capriati, and Andy Roddick.
The BNP Paribas Open is held in Indian Wells, California. The Indian Wells Tennis Gardens is located in Southern California. This state of the art tennis facility is in the middle of a desert oasis at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains. It has a main stadium with over 16,100 tickets available and is the second largest tennis stadium in the world. This venue also boasts 20 courts comprised of clay and hard surfaces. There are also two other stadiums with room for 8,000 spectators. Stadium Two has 5,000 tickets available, while Stadium Three has 3,000 tickets available.
The BNP Paribas Open is one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world. The hard surface on which it is played is the fastest surface in tennis. As a stop on both the ATP and WTA tour, this is one of only a few places where you can see men's and women's tennis at its best.