If reports are to be believed, the Indian Wells Masters is all set to make a comeback in 2021 - marking the first time that the hardcourt event will be played in more than two years. The 2020 edition was canceled due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in California, while the 2021 edition was indefinitely postponed earlier this year.
According to recent reports, a virtual meeting of ATP players and representatives was convened on Friday. The men's governing body supposedly agreed to organize the hardcourt event right before the 2021 Paris Masters, which is scheduled to be held from 1 to 7 November.
While the dates are not clear right now, it would be reasonable to expect that the Indian Wells Masters will take place well after the US Open. But there's still a lot of time for that part of the season to commence, and it remains to be seen what arrangements will be made at Indian Wells to deal with the pandemic.
Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem would love to get a chance to repeat their 2019 heroics this year
The last edition of the Indian Wells Masters was held in 2019, when Dominic Thiem beat five-time champion Roger Federer in a pulsating final. Thiem used that breakthrough as a springboard for bigger triumphs shortly thereafter; the Austrian won his maiden Grand Slam title at the 2020 US Open.
Meanwhile Roger Federer, who returned to the pro tour this year after undergoing double knee surgery, will be looking to get another shot at winning the prestigious Masters 1000 title. The last time the Swiss maestro reigned supreme at Indian Wells was in 2017, when he beat the likes of Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka to win the event.
Roger Federer came up short in his next two Indian Wells outings, dropping back-to-back finals to Juan Martin del Potro and Dominic Thiem. But it is pertinent to note that the 39-year-old has reached three consecutive finals in the desert city, coming mighty close to winning all three (he held two match points against Juan Martin del Potro, and led by a set against Dominic Thiem).
Needless to say, Roger Federer will be hopeful about returning to the winners' circle at Indian Wells later in the year, provided he is at a good competitive level then.