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Raducanu Gets Wild Card into Indian Wells, Djokovic Among the list of Withdrawals

By Ricky Dimon

Two unsurprising developments took place on the BNP Paribas Open entry lists earlier this week: Emma Raducanu is in and Novak Djokovic is out.

Because the entry deadline for the upcoming 1000-point tournament was prior to the U.S. Open, Raducanu–who triumphed in New York–did not gain direct entry. Of course, there was never a doubt that Indian Wells tournament organizers would save a wild card for a woman who has suddenly become one of the biggest stars in the sport.

Raducanu was ranked No. 150 when she won the U.S. Open as a qualifier three weeks ago. The 18-year-old Brit was all the way outside the top 300 (338th) when she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Now up to 22nd in the rankings, Raducanu will be seeded in Indian Wells next week. Among the players who would have been seeded but won’t be in attendance are Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka, Sofia Kenin, Jennifer Brady, Serena Williams, and Karolina Muchova.

On the men’s side, Djokovic has withdrawn on the heels of his grueling stretch that saw him come within one win of the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men’s singles since Rod Laver in 1969. The world No. 1 lifted the trophy at the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon before losing to Daniil Medvedev in the U.S. Open final.

“I am sorry I wont get to see my fans in Indian Wells and play in the desert, my favorite place to go,” Djokovic stated. “I hope to see you next year!”

“We are disappointed that Novak will not be able to join us at the BNP Paribas Open this fall,” said tournament director Tommy Haas said. “We hope to see him back in tennis paradise next March to contend for a record-setting sixth title in the desert.”

The 2021 Indian Wells event was rescheduled from March to October because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was cancelled entirely in 2020.

Also out of the men’s field are Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Roger Federer, Ugo Humbert, David Goffin, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, Borna Coric, and Alexander Bublik.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.