March 15, 2011 BNP Paribas Open

Today we are up bright and early for another full day of tennis. We start each day with a room service breakfast because it is just so much nicer to not have to get dressed and look presentable first thing in the morning. We are usually among the first fans to get to our seats.

Early bird

Today first up is Gulbis vs. Djokovic. Gulbis entirely tanks the match not even apparently trying. He loses 6-0 6-1. Gulbis is a quality player but just can’t seem to get his head screwed on right. Some day when he is older he will rue all his wasted opportunities.

Ernests Gulbis (L) in serving position
Novak Djokovic (W) ready to serve

This match is followed by Marion Bartoli playing Kim Clijsters. Kim is a real crowd favorite and Bartoli is very quirky in her playing style. It is evident for whom the crowd is rooting. Bartoli is the product of her father’s “scientific method” of play and he has her bouncing around and swinging madly at the air between points. Although everyone expects Clijsters to win, even Bartoli as she candidly admits in the aftermatch interview, Clijsters retires with a shoulder injury and Bartoli is through to the next round.

Kim Clijsters (L) in action
Marion Bartoli (W) follow through

Of course there is time between the matches to grab a munch from the neverending food in the suite and to look around for notable spectators. Ooh look, there’s Rod Laver sitting not too far away from us!

The great Rod Laver

And now the match we have been waiting for – Juan Ignacio Chela vs. Roger Federer. Roger wins this match 6-0 6-2. Chela, though, is entertaining and seems grateful for the two games he does win. Roger plays well and has no trouble at all in the match.

Juan Ignacio Chela (L)
Roger Federer (W) serving

John and I take a break from the action and leave the grounds for the hotel. During this time Caroline Wozniacki beats Alisa Kleybanova. We enjoyed watching Kleybanova play last year. She is a really hard hitter and Wozniacki has her hands full but wins in the third set. I enjoy a little nap while all this is going on.

Then we are back for the night session where John Isner is playing Andy Roddick. Isner is so tall and has a giant serve but not too much else. Roddick wins. The last match is Dinara Safina vs. Maria Sharapova. I cannot stand Sharapova and all the hype she gets. She does hit the ball hard and she does shriek loudly every time she does so. Safina is just a head case and we make an early exit as she detonates. I didnt take any picture of them.

Big John Isner (L)
Andy Roddick (W)

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