After an action-packed first week in the desert and heading into week two, let's take a look at our five biggest takeaways to date: THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT FOR AMERICAN MEN... It's almost an impossible task to match the Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic's Big Three Era, but things are looking up for the men's game in the US.
There were 14 American men: Reilly Opelka, Taylor Dent, Tommy Paul, Sebastian Korda , Jenson Brooksby, etc., until the second round in Indian Wells. Even the irascible John McEnroe was impressed. "There is an opportunity," he said.
“Obviously we've had this incredible story of these three guys, three of the best male players I've ever seen. Things are going to be wide open. They're not just going to be the obvious ones. One would assume that Medvedev will win other Slams.
You are waiting for Zverev and Tsitsipas. But I think there is an opportunity for these Americans who are making real progress to break through. I think three or four of them are going to make the Top 10. Whether or not they win Grand Slams is another question."
COCO IS RIGHT WHERE SHE SHOULD BE... Coco Gauff pivoted from teen to adult this week in Indian Wells, celebrating his 18th birthday on March 13. "No more having my parents fill out my paperwork and stuff," she laughed.
"I really can't believe I'm going to be legally an adult, but my parents won't see me as such." The Floridian has been carrying some weighty expectations all along, but she has done an outstanding job of tempering both her own expectations and those of others."
Nole has chosen to remain unvaccinated
Reilly Opelka bestowed high praise on Novak Djokovic in a recent interview, remarking that the World No. 2 is a "man of principle" for his willingness to stand up for other players even when it was not in his best interest to do so.
"The fact that [Novak Djokovic] is still willing to fight for other players is [remarkable]. It is clearly out of his best interest to do so. He really is a man of principle and we have to respect that. One thing you can never call him is a hypocrite," Opelka said.
"He says what he believes in. I really enjoy spending time with him when I have [got the opportunity to] chat with him. I respect him for a lot of reasons. [He] does have the right intentions when it comes to vaccinations, there's no doubt about it.
He's more than okay from a financial standpoint," Opelka said. "His grand kids and his great kids are going to be just fine in terms of finances and I think that's what shows a lot about his character."