Taking a Look Inside Who's Left at Indian Wells from Obvious Favorites to Huge Surprises

Taking a Look Inside Who's Left at Indian Wells from Obvious Favorites to Huge Surprises

4 min read

A lot of action has unfolded at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. over the past week. Upsets, surprises, drama, and stellar performances have all taken center stage as the tournament races toward the finish line.

Universal Tennis INSIGHTS gives us a deeper look into the favorites left, with the women leading the way.

The Women's Seminals Take Shape

When the men were still figuring out the round of 16, the women's quarterfinals got underway with two matches taking place on Wednesday. Simona Halep (UTR Rating 13.20) has the highest odds of raising the Indian Wells trophy, followed by Iga Swiatek (13.21) and defending champion Paula Badosa (13.17).

The INSIGHTS Tournament Odds Favorites

Simona Halep — 26%

Iga Swiatek — 22%

Paula Badosa — 20%

Maria Sakkari — 18%

Elena Rybakina — 6%

Veronika Kudermetova — 2%

On Wednesday night, Halep took out Petra Martic (12.38) 6-1, 6-1 in 53 minutes after having a whopping 88% chance of advancing, per INSIGHTS. The last time they faced off was in Indian Wells in 2018 when Halep won the title. Although the Romanian's WTA ranking is down at No. 26, her Universal Tennis pro ranking (based on UTR Rating) is No. 6.

Simona Halep is the leading favorite in the women's draw. (AP Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Martic is no stranger to success, having been to the fourth round of a major five times, and she was the one to take out 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu.

The second women's quarterfinal on Wednesday saw No. 3 seed Swiatek have a similar storyline against No. 25 seed Madison Keys (12.91), winning 6-1, 6-0 in 57 minutes. Swiatek was favored over Keys at 67% to reach the semifinals, though Keys has rediscovered the level of tennis that saw her start the year with a title in Adelaide and reach the Australian Open semifinals.

Both Halep and Swiatek came into the WTA 1000 with decent odds of winning as Top 5 favorites — both had 7% odds, along with Maria Sakkari (13.17). Halep and Swiatek last played each other in the 2021 Australian Open and INSIGHTS is expecting a battle with both having 50% odds of booking a place in the final.

Iga Swiatek is through to her first semifinal in the desert. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

On Thursaday, Badosa will play gainst No. 21 seed Veronika Kudermetova (12.70), an opponent she has yet to beat in three tries. Badosa won the BNP Paribas Open last year and has lost none of her grove in California as she has yet to drop a set in three matches. Despite her 0-3 record against Kudermetova, the Spaniard is favored at 74% to reach her second Indian Wells semifinal in a row (in less than five months as last year's tournament was shifted to October). Notably, Kudermetova upset Naomi Osaka before outlasting Olympic silver medalist Marketa Vondrousova in three sets.

The remaining quarterfinal will see Sakkari take on 22-year-old Kazakh Elena Rybakina (12.97). The Greek is favored by INSIGHTS at just 59% and has a lot of experience to bring into the bout while Rybakina is still relatively new to the top of the tour. You definitely can expect their encounter to be a physical one.

“Now I feel like I still have a lot in the tank for three more matches," Sakkari said. "Might be one, might be two, might be three. I’m used to going deep. Now I feel like it’s not something new for me. I would say from last year I started feeling like, you know, it doesn’t feel like very tiring to go deep into a tournament.”

American Men Take Over the Desert

Rafael Nadal (16.30) is still the favorite in the men's draw, with his odds going up to 45%. He took out the big-serving American Reilly Opelka on Wednesday afternoon to reach the quarterfinals. Next up will be a blockbuster showdown with Nick Kyrgios (15.54). Kyrgios is the INSIGHTS best male performer for the tournament, playing like a 15.99 (+0.44) over three matches.

Americans have been one of the biggest storylines of the tournament with Tommy Paul ousting No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev in the second round, John Isner reaching the round of 16 (falling to Grigor Dimitrov), and Taylor Fritz taking out Alex de Minaur (who had ended Paul's run) in a third-set tiebreaker to book his place in the quarterfinals.



Then there's the youngest American of the group, Jenson Brooksby (15.76). The 21-year-old burst onto the scene in 2021, starting the year playing a UTR Pro Tennis Tour event and ending it ranked No. 56 on the ATP Tour (his UTR PTT ranking is No. 9).

Stephen Amritraj goes on Tennis Channel to talk Indian Wells and the Universal Tennis Hurd Awards.

Brooksby stunned Stefanos Tsitsipas on Tuesday but lost to defending champion Cameron Norrie (15.88) in the round of 16.


Stay tuned for more from INSIGHTS, and to learn more about Universal Tennis, click here.

•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 9 a.m. EST, March. 16, 2022. Article updated on March 17.

Back to blog