March 17, 2011 BNP Paribas Open

This morning we are up early and looking forward to a rather abbreviated day of tennis. There are no really compelling matches as it seems like a rest day for most of the players who are still in the tournament. Federer is playing doubles late in the afternoon and Nadal is playing Karlovic in the evening match. There are some WTA matches as well. We get to the courts for the first match, Wozniacki vs. Azarenka. As we walk to our seats we see on the videos that Azarenka is down on the ground looking like she is in pain. She retires from the match with the score at 3-0 Wozniacki. It’s about 11:30 AM. There are no other matches going on.

But okay, we will get some lunch at be there for the Robredo/del Potro match at 1 PM. Around 12:30 we find out that Robredo has withdrawn due to an injury. Well, what else is going on at 1 PM? Women’s doubles. The match includes Azarenka (see above) so that is also cancelled. Now there is no match until 3 PM. John and I decide to retire as well and go back to the hotel for a nap. (I know that this is the second time I’ve mentioned napping in the last few days. The reason for the tiredness is that I have a bad cold and now John has caught it too. We are doing our best to stay perky but get tired. For me, it is like a replay of last year when by the finals I was so sick that I couldn’t even attend and John drove me all the way home the next day. It can’t come to that this time!)

Anyway, refreshed from our little sleep, we head back to the courts at 3 PM. Now we are treated to a match between Sharapova and Peng. Shriek, shriek, double-fault, fist pump. On it goes. It look like Sharapova may win in two sets but, no. So now it’s a third set. A woman in our box is drunk. She has spent all the non-match time drinking while we were napping. She is screaming for Sharapova. Officials come to tell her to shut up. Drama. Finally Sharapova wins the match. I am just glad that it is over.

Now we have some entertaining doubles between Knowles/Mertinak and Federer/Wawrinka. I feel a little bad for the regular doubles players. At this tournament all the top players have decided to play doubles and all the regular doubles players have been knocked out. Federer and Wawrinka win in two sets.

The evening match is Nadal vs. Karlovic. Karlovic has a monster serve and is 6′ 10″ or so. The rest of his game is a little shaky and he has trouble lumbering around the court due to his giant self. But the match turns out very exciting and competitive with Nadal squeaking out a win in the third set tie-breaker. The final match of the evening is women’s doubles. Everybody, including John and I, leaves.

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