As the 2023 Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open heats up, the world's best tennis players are pulling out all the stops to claim victory in both the singles and doubles competitions.
While some players opt to focus solely on singles, it seems that a growing number are now prioritizing both, with only three out of the Top 17 singles players choosing not to compete in doubles at this year's event.
Novak Djokovic had to withdraw from the event as he couldn't enter the United States, and Rafael Nadal was forced out with an injury. That means, that Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, and Stefanos Tsitsipas are the only three players from the Top 17 in singles who are not competing in doubles.
The singles favourites created some established teams, while some made interesting pairings. World no. 16, Frances Tiafoe teamed up with veteran and three-time Grand Slam champion, Stan Wawrinka, and Casper Ruud joined forces with another experienced player, Dominic Thiem.
One of the more interesting duos is Holger Rune and Ben Shelton, who also practiced together prior to the tournament. But there are also some teams that competed together also before such as Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev, and Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov.
But why the sudden shift towards doubles competition? In recent years, players have increasingly focused on singles, with the packed schedules and physical demands of the sport making it difficult to compete in both.
However, with the Indian Wells tournament offering a significant prize money purse for doubles as well as singles, players may now see the benefits of adding doubles to their schedules.
For fans, this means even more exciting matches and unexpected results. As the tournament progresses, it will be interesting to see which players can balance the demands of both singles and doubles, and whether we'll see more top-ranked players choosing to add doubles to their schedules in the future.