I went to the BNP Paribas tournament in Indian Wells for the first time on Sunday. I was lucky..it was sold out but my dad knew someone who had an extra ticket! It was a gorgeous day, 80ish and of course sunny.
I walked in and of course first had to check out the shops around the grounds…checked out the tennis clothes and then later, the tennis racquets at the Tennis Warehouse tent. The grounds were crowded, but not like the US Open, which is crazy. There’s a lot of open space around the grounds.
Then onto some tennis…I watched a bit of Del Potro, and a few games of a Nadal beatdown on Stadium 1 (who thinks up these names)…before heading out to Court 7. I watched young American Ryan Sweeting, but he was demolished by the colorfully dressed Spaniard, Fernando Verdasco. Behind Court 7 was another match, and since I scored a spot at the very top of the stadium, I could see both matches by just turning my head…the other match was Tipsaravic, the #2 Serb, and the top (and only) Luxembourg player, left Giles Muller. Tipsaravic was too tough off the ground, much better groundies, and he was able to break Muller’s serve early, and went on to win in straights.
The Murray brothers, Andy and Jamie, took the court for an all-British match up and there was more than the usual tension as a result. They played Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins and the Murray’s lost the first set 64, came out strong in the second, forging a 40 lead (Andy served first in the 2nd set…even though it was into the sun) and held on to take it…the tiebreak was exciting, the brothers led 8-4, then ended up down match points a couple of times…Andy served his way out of one and Jamie another…in the end Jamie held two critical points and Andy hit a great return to seal the match. (They went down to the #2 seeds two days later).
Behind Court 7 was a match between Xavier Malisse and Radek Stepanek..Stepanek won easily and appeared to be in far better shape than Malisse.
I headed over then to Stadium 2 to see Petra Kivitova, the Wimbledon champ, and Christine McHale, an American. Kivitova took the first set, overpowering McHale…but seemed to tire in the final sets and McHale kept bringing the ball back..over and over, running well. McHale pulled off the upset, to the delight of Pat McEnroe and the USTA high performance group (but then lost her next match to a German player, 76 in the third).
It was late by then…tempting to stay and watch Canadian star Milos Raonic…but headed back to San Diego after a great day.