Week of March 11, 2012 Indian Wells, CA Part I

John and I arrive in Indian Wells on Sunday. Our tickets for the BNP Paribas Open begin on Monday. After an enjoyable evening of tennis watching at the bar at our hotel, we are eager to get to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Our first day is spent in a rather frustrating manner. We seem to have positioned ourselves to see all the women’s matches. The matches are very long and somewhat boring. On top of this, our experience with the ticket/hotel package is disappointing. Many of the great perks that we had enjoyed in previous years have been eliminated. Apparently Larry Ellison is very concerned with his bottom line. So much so that even water now is very pricy. We used to be served a lovely buffet at both lunch and dinner with snacks and drinks available during the day. This was all part of the package. Now every item is priced and the quality has been down-graded. We are unhappy about this.

Day two is starting off better. We see a great match between Nadal and Granollers. Granollers puts up a fierce fight to stay in the second set. But he loses. We are managing our time better and we are only seeing the matches that we are interested in. Unfortunately, the outside stadia are so packed that it is impossible to get in to see matches with less marquee players. The general admission people arrive at 10 AM, claim a seat and stay there all day.

Here are some pictures of Nadal.

Nadal preps for his lefty forehand

At the ready

Nadal going up for his serve

The most exciting match of the day is between Roger Federer and Milos Raonic. Raonic is a young Canadian player who is quite tall and has a powerful serve. Raonic wins the tie break in the first set to go ahead. But Federer responds by upping his level and winning the second and third sets. The crowd is on its feet cheering. Federer is a fan favorite everywhere.

It is very difficult to get a good picture of Roger playing. One, it’s night, two, he’s kind of far away, and three, his racket head speed is so fast that it is almost always a blur.

Roger is relatively still for the coin toss

Follow through on a backhand

Overhead during the warm-up

Here he's still catching a ball from one of the ballkids

The best picture we got of his serve

Yay! Roger wins - the post-match interview

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