Now you all know how much I love tennis and love going to the US Open every year, but I had no idea how great the smaller tournaments can be. I got a taste of it when Mom and I drove from LA to Indian Wells to watch a full day of matches. Being at Indian Wells is like having an all-access concert pass where you can see the show and walk backstage to see the what goes on behind the scenes. The top players from both the men’s and women’s tours are all there and the stakes are high since it’s the first major tournament since the Australian Open.
When they’re not in a match they are walking around talking to fans and practicing on the side courts. After watching Andy Roddick choke against Tommy Haas we watched a great match between David Nalbandian and Ernstis Gulbis, which Nalbandian finally won in a final set tiebreak. Gulbis is a player I’ve had my eye on for a while and I think this will be his breakout year. But the highlight was watching Dimitry Tursunov film his Tursunov Tales weblog with fans around the practice courts. His conversations with the ball boys were priceless. I’ll definitely head back to Indian Wells – what’s better than a long weekend in California’s desert in mid-March! Consider this your invitation to join me next year!