March 16, 2011 BNP Paribas Open

Today we have a clinic over at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden! It is a perk for having bought the tickets/hotel package. I am very nervous about this because I assume that I will be the worst player there and that all the women will be skinny, tan society ladies. But no! The people who have come to play are just like ourselves and many don’t even bring their rackets or have tennis clothes. One older lady has a cane. Certainly I can do better than she. John self-selects for the “best” group and I, of course, self-select for the “worst” group. But seriously, I can play so much better than anyone in my group. (yay!) Our instructors are Eddie Dibbs, a 22 career singles titles winner from the 1970’s with a highest ranking of number 5, Danie Visser, a South African who held the number 1 doubles ranking in 1990 and holds three Grand Slam doubles titles, and Tom Fey, Director of Tennis at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. We have a great time.

John Pilat, always a winner to me
Mary Pilat, not as inadequate as she thinks

We spend a little extra time perusing the practice courts where we see David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and others.

After a quick cleanup we are back to the tournament. We miss the Sam Querrey (L) vs. Tommy Robredo (W) match. We saw Sam this morning at the hotel and even said hi, obviously the kiss of death. The first match we see is Ana Ivanovic vs. Marion Bartoli. Ana is the darling of the crowd because she is pretty. I find this annoying and root for Bartoli. The jinx from this morning is off and she wins. Next is Viktor Troicki vs. Novak Djokovic. Djokovic is the man to beat in this tournament. He hasn’t lost this year. He rolls countryman, Troicki. The final day session match is Andy Roddick vs. Richard Gasquet. Roddick loses. He is churlish. We are not impressed.

It’s a blockbuster evening of tennis. First Raphael Nadal plays Somdev Devvarmann (who?) Devvarman is a player from India and gives Nadal a run for his money. He doesn’t do anything spectacular but gets a lot of balls back. Nadal wins but looks vulnerable doing so.

The last match is Roger Federer vs. Ryan Harrison. Harrison is just 18 years old and is a new face in American tennis. He beat Milos Raonic of Canada in the last round. Raonic is another of the up-and-comers. The first set goes to a tie-break. Roger is playing quite schizo. He is missing easy shots. He appears nervous in the first set. Come on, Roger, give your loyal fans a break and just win easily! Finally after winning the tie-break he settles down and the second set is more routine. (phew!)

Note: For some reason I am unable to post large photos and thumbnails in the same post without repeating the larger ones. So there are the same pictures of us twice in this post.

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