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Who Will Win The BNP Paribas Open 2024 Women’s Singles Title?

08 Mar 2024
Nikhil Kalro 08 Mar 2024
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  • The Sunshine Double is the most prestigious Masters tournament with Iga Swiatek the last to clinch the double in 2022.
  • Top contenders for Indian Wells 2024 are Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina, Coco Gauff, Jelena Ostapenko with Naomi Osaka and Elina Svitolina as possible dark horses.
  • Each player brings a formidable record to the tournament, pointing to a highly competitive tournament ahead.
Iga Swiatek BNP
Iga Swiatek celebrates at the BNP Paribas Open 2023. (Getty Images)
The Sunshine Double, comprising the WTA and ATP 1000 Masters tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami, is considered the most prestigious Masters tournament on the tennis calendar. 
  • Iga Swiatek
  • Aryna Sabalenka
  • Elena Rybakina
  • Coco Gauff
  • Jelena Ostapenko
The Indian Wells title is almost considered the fifth Grand Slam on the circuit. The two tournaments are particularly challenging owing to the extreme summer conditions in which they are contested in the USA. The 2024 Sunshine Double campaign starts with the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on March 6, followed by the Miami Open on March 19. 

Completing the Sunshine Double sweep is a dream for all tennis players on the WTA and the ATP Tours. The last player to clinch the double was Iga Swiatek in 2022. Last year, Elena Rybakina came within touching distance of the finish line but was denied the double by a resurgent Petra Kvitova, who clinched the Miami title with a 7-6, 6-2 win over the Kazakh in the final. With the Indian Wells tournament upon us, let us look at the top contenders to clinch the first of the two US summer hard court Masters tournaments on the ladies' side.

Iga Swiatek has cemented her position as one of the favorites for any tournament she enters over the last couple of seasons. The Pole only let up the World No. 1 position once last year but reclaimed it almost immediately after finishing the 2023 season as the top WTA player and the WTA Finals champion. However, Aryna Sabalenka has been hot on her heels since the beginning of the 2023 season, adding two Grand Slam titles to her name by winning the Australian Open back-to-back last year and earlier this year.

Elena Rybakina, of course, remains a favorite to defend her title, which she clinched by defeating Swiatek and Sabalenka in the semifinals and final, respectively. Coco Gauff has emerged as another strong contender to challenge these women this year, as she reached a career-high ranking of World No. 3. The American teenager has also clinched one WTA title this year already, at the WTA 250 ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand. 2018 Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka will also be on the contender list after returning to the WTA tour after maternity leave. 

Here are the top 5 contenders for the WTA Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells:

Iga Swiatek

The Polish World No. 1 refuses to brake or halt her run ever since climbing to the pinnacle in the 2022 season. The 2022 Sunshine Double winner definitely stands as the top favorite to lift the Indian Wells trophy this year.

The Pole enters the tournament on a good run, having bagged the Qatar Open title, her first of 2024, last month with a 7-6(8), 6-2 victory over last year’s Indian Wells champion Elena Rybakina. She fell to Anna Kalinskaya in the semifinals in Dubai but enters the Indian Wells tournament with a 14-2 record in 2024. With a reputation for sweeping aside opponents in straight sets and 6-0, 6-0 victories, Swiatek is one of the strongest contenders for the 2024 Indian Wells title. 

Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka has had a fantastic start to the 2024 season by lifting the happy slam down under at the Australian Open. This was her second consecutive title in Melbourne, and the Belarussian did it without dropping a set this time.

The 25-year-old has a 11-2 record in 2024 in all tournaments and finished as the finalist in Indian Wells in 2023. She overcame strong challengers like Maria Sakkari, Coco Gauff, and Barbora Krejcikova on the way to the final but was eventually halted by Rybakina. 

Elena Rybakina

The defending champion has the most motivation to clinch the title in Indian Wells, which makes her one of the players to beat at the tournament. Rybakina came within touching distance of the double last year, and in order to achieve the feat this year, she will have to defend her title.

Currently ranked No. 4, the Kazakh has already bagged two WTA titles in 2024, in Abu Dhabi and Brisbane. She also made it to the Qatar Open final, where she was bested by World No. 1 Swiatek. The 24-year-old has a 17-3 win-loss record so far this year and is in great shape and form to repeat her Indian Wells victory. 

Coco Gauff

The American teenage tennis sensation is playing amazing tennis in 2024. She has already bagged a WTA title this year in Auckland and reached the career-high ranking of World No. 3. Her win-loss record stands at 12-3 in the current season.

The 19-year-old, who clinched her maiden Grand Slam title on home soil at the 2023 US Open, will definitely be a crowd favorite at the mini-slam in Indian Wells as she attempts to clinch her first title there. Gauff is playing extremely well on hard courts this year, having reached the semifinals of the Australian Open, where she was knocked out by the eventual champion, Sabalenka. 

Jelena Ostapenko

The Latvian is a surprise name on this list, as she has secured the No. 10 seeding by winning two WTA titles so far in 2024. Her best result at Indian Wells was in 2021, when she reached the semifinals. The 26-year-old has a 16-4 win-loss record this year, with titles in Adelaide and Linz. She is second, behind Elena Rybakina, in the list for most wins this season on the WTA Tour. 

The underdogs for the 2024 Indian Wells title include teenager Mirra Andreeva, who has surprised many with her astounding performances over the past couple of seasons.

Naomi Osaka, the 2018 champion and former World No. 1, makes her return to Indian Wells after maternity and could be a surprise title contender. Elina Svitolina is another new mum who is playing some of her best tennis since returning to the tour last year. The 29-year-old has a 9-3 record this year and made the finals in Auckland, where she lost to Gauff.

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