"Because Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal are gone"; "Painful": Fans react to Maria Sakkari & Emma Navarro's Indian Wells QF having sparse audience

Emma Navarro, Maria Sakkari; Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in inset
Emma Navarro, Maria Sakkari; Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in inset

Maria Sakkari and Emma Navarro competed in the quarterfinals of the 2024 BNP Paribas Open on March 15 in front of a nearly empty stadium at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Sakkari and Navarro played at the Stadium 2. While making their way through the tunnel into the stadium, the Greek looked around to greet the spectators and seemed a bit befuddled by how sparse the crowd was.

Paltry crowd notwithstanding, Sakkari and Navarro put on a show. The American, playing her maiden quarterfinal in Indian Wells, sneaked past the Greek to take the first set.

Sakkari regrouped in the second set to break Navarro twice and forced a decider. The World No. 9 built upon the good work done in the second set to seal the contest in the third, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, and book her spot in the third consecutive Indian Wells semifinal appearance.

Tennis fans were upset to see the lack of spectators at such a huge event and even more surprised that the crowd didn't turn up to watch a local player. Others slammed the high price of tickets, with one fan opining that the absence/exit of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic has affected the crowd's interest.

"I feel like the attendance at Indian Wells has been surprisingly low in general? Were tickets just over priced?" a fan wrote.
Comment byu/Emotional_Pizza_1222 from discussion intennis
"She really had to double look if the stadium is really empty. 🙁," another fan posted.
Comment byu/Emotional_Pizza_1222 from discussion intennis
"This is painful but I need this clip to go viral so that everyone can see what a shambolic organisation the WTA is and light a fire under their asses to promote these ladies!" a fan wrote on Reddit.
Comment byu/Emotional_Pizza_1222 from discussion intennis

Here are more fan reactions to the nearly empty stadium during Maria Sakkari and Emma Navarro's Indian Wells quarterfinal clash:

Comment byu/Emotional_Pizza_1222 from discussion intennis
Comment byu/Emotional_Pizza_1222 from discussion intennis
Comment byu/Emotional_Pizza_1222 from discussion intennis
Comment byu/Emotional_Pizza_1222 from discussion intennis
Comment byu/Emotional_Pizza_1222 from discussion intennis
Comment byu/Emotional_Pizza_1222 from discussion intennis

Maria Sakkari to play Coco Gauff in Indian Wells SF

Coco Gauff at 2024 BNP Paribas Open
Coco Gauff at 2024 BNP Paribas Open

Maria Sakkari will continue her run at the 2024 Indian Wells against No. 3 seed Coco Gauff. The two women will compete for a spot in the final on March 16.

This will be the eighth tour-level meeting between Sakkari and Gauff. The Greek leads their head-to-head 3-4, but Gauff won their last two contests. She defeated Sakkari at the Citi Open and China Open last year.

Maria Sakkari was not in good touch when she arrived in Indian Wells this year, winning only two matches in 2024. At the WTA 1000 tournament, she is seeded No. 9 and has defeated Diana Shnaider, Caroline Garcia, Diane Parry, and Emma Navarro on her way to the semis.

Meanwhile, Coco Gauff had an underwhelming Middle East swing following a semifinal exit at the Australian Open. Like Sakkari, the American also found firm footing in the Californian desert, beating Clara Burel, Lucia Bronzetti, Elise Mertens and Yue Yuan en route to the last four.

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Edited by Pritha Ghosh
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