The 2014 BNP Paribas Challenge, the pre-qualifying event for the Tournament, begins today and will run through Saturday, March 1, boasting the largest draw in the event’s history with more than 200 participants seeking wildcard berths into the BNP Paribas Open Qualifying tournament, held March 3-5 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Samantha Crawford and Nicole Gibbs highlight the American talent in the women’s draw. Crawford qualified for the 2012 U.S. Open Main Draw and also captured the Junior Girls singles title that year and Gibbs is a two-time NCAA Champion currently No. 196 in the WTA rankings.
Ksenia Pervak of Russia turned pro in 2007 and reached a career-high ranking of No. 39 in 2011 after winning her first and only WTA title in Tashkent and reaching the finals in Baku. She has finished in the WTA top 150 four times in the last five years.
Other notable women in the draw include 2013 US Open National Playoff Winner Mayo Hibi of Japan and WTA top 150 ranked player Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.
The men’s side features 2012 BNP Paribas Challenge winner and former UCLA standout Dennis Novikov. Other noteworthy players include Daniel Kosakowski, who won the event in 2011 and has a career-high ATP World Tour ranking of 230, and Nicolas Meister, who currently stands at No. 366.
In 2013, Rik De Voest and Gabriela Dabrowski won the pre-qualifying tournament.
Matches will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, February 24 – Wednesday, February 26, and 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 27 – Friday, February 28. The women’s final will be on Saturday, March 1 at Noon followed by the men’s final. All matches will be played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, are open to the public and free of charge.