The Banque Nationale de Paris Open, otherwise known as Indian Wells, is one of the most prestigious professional tennis tournaments, just below the Grand Slam level. The Open is not only considered to be the fifth Grand Slam, but it is one of the highest-grossing, watched and fame-claiming tournaments for both men and women's professional tennis players. The official names for the men’s and women’s circuits are the Association of Tennis Professionals and the Women’s Tennis Association, respectively. 

The BNP tournament is categorized as “ATP Tour Masters 1000” and “WTA 1000.” Every year, men and women start in the Australian Open, followed by smaller tournaments, like Indian Wells, before playing the next Grand Slam, Roland Garros. Therefore, playing these tournaments is crucial to tennis players because it will prepare them for what’s to come later this year. 

On March 17, 2024, 20-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, from Spain, ranked second in the world and 22-year-old, Iga Świątek, from Poland, ranked number one in the world. Alcaraz and Świątek both claimed their respective championship titles in the 2024 BNP Paribas Open. 

In the women’s singles tournament championship match, Świątek defeated 28-year-old Greek Maria Sakkari, ranked ninth in the world, 6-4, 6-0, with a final match time of one hour and eight minutes. 

In the men’s singles tournament, during the finals, Alcaraz defended his title and overcame world No. 4, 27-year-old Daniil Medvedev. The match ended 7-6(5), 6-1, with a final match time of one hour and 42 minutes. 

Although Świątek and Alcaraz finished the tournament as champions, their journeys to the finals were quite different. Światek did not drop a set the entire tournament. Although her time at Indian Wells was nothing but victory, she has had a difficult time during this tennis season, as she has only captured one title thus far. Her one victory was winning the Qatar Open on Feb. 17, 2024.  

Świątek 's longest match occurred in her second round, where she defeated No. 53 in the world, 30-year-old Danielle Collins from the United States. Although the final score was 6-3, 6-0, the final time of the match was one hour and 21 minutes, a long and grueling matchup. After defeating Collins, Swiatek took some time to reflect on her win and described her can-do attitude by stating, “it’s not tournament related, it’s more process related” and that her “goals are kind of healthier.” In addition to the reflection of her mindset, she was also impressed with her shot tolerance and how she handled the match overall. She describes her satisfaction by stating, “I am just happy I kept my focus and stuck with my game no matter what Danielle was doing on the other side of the net.” 

For the rest of the Indian Wells tournament, Świątek only lost 18 games within five matches. At the end of the tournament,  Świątek was the player lifting up the championship trophy. She exclaimed her gratitude and excitement over this win stating, “I am really proud of myself. I’m super happy.” She continued to describe her mindset in the last two matches as playing with, “a big amount of confidence,” then redescribed her contentment, restating, “I’m really proud of myself.” 

On the men’s side, although Alcaraz was the one walking away with the title, his journey to the Indian Wells final was quite different in comparison to  Świątek. One of his two closest matches was against No. 38 in the world, 23-year-old, from Italy, Matteo Arnaldi, with a final score of 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-1, and a final time of two hours and 14 minutes. Alcaraz described his first half of the match as, “a surprise.” Although there was a challenge at hand, he eventually walked off-court with the win.

Alcaraz’s second closest match was against his new rival, No. 3 in the world, from Italy, Jannik Sinner, with a final score of 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 and a final time of two hours and five minutes. Before Alcaraz could explain his thoughts about the match, Sinner exclaimed in a YouTube video that facing Alcaraz is “always tough.” He then added that after the first set, Alcaraz “raised his level.” Finally, Sinner pays his respect to Alacraz by stating, “I wish him good luck in the final.” On the other hand, Alcaraz describes his win and what it means to him as “I’m really really happy to classify for another final. It means a lot to me.” 

Alcaraz defeated Medvedev in the BNP final. After the match, he reflected on what it means to defend a title saying, “It is never easy. It is even more difficult if it is a Master 1000.” He then described his final performance, noting “I’m really happy to show really good tennis.”

During the Miami Open, another ATP Tour Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 from March 17-31,  Świątek and Alcaraz were both faced with defeat. Although their defeats put a halt on their possible achievements, tennis fans are hoping to see both  Świątek and Alcaraz succeeding in the upcoming clay court tournaments in preparation for the second Grand Slam of the year, Roland Garros in late May.