INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Novak Djokovic is returning to the BNP Paribas Open for the first time in five years in pursuit of a record sixth title in the Southern California desert.
The world’s top-ranked male player last competed at Indian Wells in 2019, when he lost in the third round. Djokovic didn’t play here the last four years because he wasn’t vaccinated against COVID-19. The U.S. required noncitizen visitors to be vaccinated through last spring.
Djokovic won the tournament in 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Three-time winner Rafael Nadal will return after missing last year’s event because of injury. He missed the Australian Open in January because of injury as well.
The tournament featuring the combined ATP and WTA tours runs March 3-17.
Iga Swiatek, the world’s top-ranked woman, will be back. She won the title in 2022 and reached the semifinals last year.