Tennis Paradise is back on for 2021 at Indian Wells.

BNP Paribas Open officials announced Thursday that the combined ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 tournament will be staged in October. Specific dates will likely be finalized by the middle of June, in consultation with both tours, given the current uncertainty surrounding the Asian swing.

The event is planned to be combined ATP and WTA, with no foreseeable reduction in prize money. Though the draw size remains undetermined given the uncertain scheduling, Haas expects a full slate of top players to attend.

“We are ecstatic to have the opportunity to hold the BNP Paribas Open in October and bring professional tennis back to the desert,” said tournament director Tommy Haas. “We have never wavered in our desire to create an unforgettable experience this fall in Tennis Paradise for our fans, players and sponsors.”

Calling the October edition his very own Oktoberfest, Haas reflected on the tournament's 14-month odyssey that began with the decision to be the first tournament to lock down in light of the then-nascent COVID-19 pandemic.


"It was such a rough match for us, one that none of us could have ever foreseen," Haas explained on a conference call Thursday afternoon. "It was like an act of God. One minute we were talking about this virus that was only in a few places at the beginning of March 2020, and we're hearing this in the news, but we had an incredible team of people trying to help us determine our next steps. I was walking to make the qualification draw when we came up with the idea that we would likely have to cancel the event.

"It was heartbreaking because we were ready to go and most the players were already there. Looking back, we obviously made the right decision; there's no question about it, and I won't waste a second talking about that. We've all been through it, and we're still in it, but it's nice to see a light at the end of the tunnel, especially as a tennis fan watching the tours around the world, trying to give the players a job and the fans a capability to watch great tennis."

Haas went on to outline the subsequent decision to postpone the 2021 edition from March into the fall.

"It was a tough situation looking at what the Australian Open had to do in order to bring tennis back. Knowing what we would have had to go through, or what we weren't able to do, we reached out to the tours early, asking to look into other dates in the fall. It hasn't always been smooth sailing, but at the end of the day, with the best interests of tennis as a whole, we're here.

"We've had great talks with both tours and the players, who are very excited about having this event in the fall. It may be a little bit hotter in the desert at that time of year, but overall, I think it's going to be fantastic!"

In its announcement, the longstanding event also shared they expect to welcome fans on site. Ticket, suite and hotel packages are expected to go on sale beginning June 21.

Indian Wells was previously postponed in March, a year after the tournament became the first to cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, Bianca Andreescu and Dominic Thiem won the singles events.

Stay tuned for more as this story develops.