Sportsbooks favor Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, and Stanislas Wawrinka to win the 2017 BNP Paribas Open – also known as the Indian Wells Masters.
The Serb is the most winning tennis player in the history of the tournament with six titles, including the last three in a row – a span during which he has beat Federer twice in the finals. The last time Djokovic lost at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden was to Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals of the 2013 edition. In other words, he is riding high upon a 17-match BNP Paribas winning streak. The defending champion is 47-6 at Indian Wells and has made it at least to the semifinals in eight of 11 showings. The Paribas Open is the perfect chance for the Serb to bounce back from a second round loss to Dennis Istomin at the Australian Open and a quarterfinals loss versus Nick Kyrgios in Acapulco.
The Swiss had a Djokovic-like grip on the Paribas Open from 2004 to 2006, and last won in 2012. Federer extended his record-setting Grand Slam record top 18 with a win at the 2017 Australian Open. However, he was unexpectedly ousted from the Dubai Tennis Championships in the second round Evgeny Donskoy in three sets. Some guys can’t win big ones; other guys can only win big ones. Federer is 52-11 at Indian Wells.
The Scotsman has been seeded No. 1 at the Paribas Open for the first time in his decorated career, but will that improve his sportsbooks’ odds? Murray himself has never won the title at Indian Wells – his best finish was second place in 2009. On the other hand, the year-end World No. 1 has won it in six of the last seven years and eight of the last 11. The Scottish racket man is coming off a win in Dubai, where he beat Fernando Verdasco in the final.
Like Djokovic and Federer, the Spaniard has won the Paribas Open at least three times; unlike the Serb and the Swiss, Nadal has not won it back-to-back. Moreover, the Clayman has not won on a hard surface since the 2014 Qatar ExxonMobil Open – though he has indeed come close lately, reaching the final of the Abierto Mexicano but losing to Sam Querrey 6-3, 7-6.
Federer’s compatriot is the only one of these sportsbooks’ picks not to have previously won the Paribas Open. Wawrinka elected not to defend the Chennai Open title and kicked off the 2017 season in Brisbane. He reached the semis but lost to Kei Nishikori. The Swiss came close to an early exit at the hands of Martin Kližan in the Australian Open but managed to land on his feet and make it all the way to the semifinal, where Federer proved to be the superior Swiss. Finally, Wawrinka entered the 2017 Dubai Tennis Championships as the defending champion but Damir Džumhur made short work of him in two sets. And that brings us up to speed.