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Doubles Players Beating the Bells & Whistles in Indian Wells

March 15, 2016

2016 BNP Paribas Open - Day 6

The men’s doubles draw at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., is always a tricky one. There, as doubles specialist Eric Butorac recently explained for Sports Illustrated, more singles players enter the event, often pushing out some of the players fighting week in and week out in doubles.

It does present an interesting opportunity for fans who might not be able to get to see Rafael Nadal (a two-time IW champ, by the way) ply his usual trade. And it does bring more people out to watch doubles as a whole. But for me personally, I’d prefer to see a more established pairing than a Richard Gasquet-Benoit Paire combo. (No offense to the Frenchmen.)

Anyway, it does seem like the cream is rising to the top as the tournament winds down. There are some players who primarily make their living in singles still afloat. But for the most part, teams like Bob and Mike Bryan, Australian Open champs Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, and Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut are proceeding quite nicely.

The hybrids, successful singles and doubles players like the dangerous Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock team and Feliciano Lopez, are doing well, too. As Butorac pointed out in his article, the conditions at Indian Wells suit all types of playing styles. But if the draw keeps progressing as it has, expect the baseline-bashing singles players to be left out when it comes to lifting the big hardware.

(Photo: Getty Images)


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