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The best tennis players in the world have arrived in Tennis Paradise for the 2023 BNP Paribas Open, and questions are abound in a men’s singles draw missing Novak Djokovic (UTR Rating 16.36) and Rafael Nadal (16.01).
Will American Taylor Fritz (16.04) repeat his dream run of a year ago, when he beat Nadal in the final? Will Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz (15.98) back up his 2022 US Open title with his first Indian Wells title?
UTR Rating helps us address those questions and size up the favorites and sleeper picks of the 2023 BNP Paribas Open men’s singles draw.
2023 BNP Paribas Open Men’s Favorites By UTR Rating
Favorites to win the BNP Paribas Open men’s singles title
(5) Daniil Medvedev (16.27)
Djokovic might have won the 2023 Australian Open, but no one has won more titles since Djokovic’s record-extending run than Daniil Medvedev.
The 6’6” Medvedev is riding a 14-match win streak after claiming titles in Rotterdam, Doha, and Dubai. Along the way, Medvedev notched wins against No. 1 Djokovic (16.36), childhood friend Andrey Rublev (15.91), and two against Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime (16.10). And Medvedev’s three-month UTR Rating, 16.33, nearly matches that of Djokovic, 16.34.
To make a deep run in the desert, though, Medvedev will have to find form previously lacking at the season’s first ATP Masters 1000 event. In five appearances, he is 6-5 and has reached the Round of 16 only once.
(7) Holger Rune (16.19)
Rune has already captured one surprise Masters 1000 title, beating five Top 10 players en route to the biggest title of his career in November in Paris. The 19-year-old from Denmark is now No. 8 and coming off a semifinal run in Acapulco, where he lost to eventual champion Alex de Minaur of Australia (15.94).
Other favorites include Auger-Aliassime (16.10), although the 22-year-old hasn’t won a match in Indian Wells in his past two showings. Defending champion Fritz (16.04) will have the home crowd behind him as he looks to become the first man to repeat as singles champion since Djokovic in 2015-16.
Top seed Carlos Alcaraz (15.98) reached the semifinals a year ago, falling to Nadal, and just might find the slower conditions of Indian Wells to his liking once more.
The 19-year-old from Spain missed the 2023 Australian Open because of injury (right leg) and will be playing in his first hard-court event of the year. He came back on the South American clay, going 8-1, including the Buenos Aires title.
Sleeper picks at 2023 BNP Paribas Open
Fresh off his second consecutive Grand Slam final, look for Karen Khachanov (15.87) to string together some wins in southern California. The 26-year-old made the Round of 16 in 2021 and the quarterfinals in 2019 before falling to Nadal.
Norway’s Casper Ruud (15.91) could use a jolt to jumpstart his 2023. The two-time Grand Slam finalist in 2022 is 3-4 on the year. Chilean Nicolas Jarry (15.25) is off to one of the best starts of the young season. Jarry is 10-2 after winning his home title in Santiago and making the semifinals in Rio before losing to Alcaraz.
•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 4 p.m. EST, March 9, 2023.