This year for the first time ever, Mcc offered a group package rate to the final Saturday and Sunday of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. This tournament ranks in the top 10 tennis tournaments in the world, featuring both men’s and women’s singles and doubles draws. Mcc members, their family, and friends bought almost fifty tickets for the two days, showing strong support in the Loge section.
The temperatures were a balmy 93 degrees on Saturday and 91 degrees on Sunday for the men’s and women’s finals. In the men’s semis, Nadal had his way with Berdych 6-4, 7-5, notching his second top ten victory since returning one month ago to active competition after missing over seven months with knee problems. His movement looked fantastic. In the second semi, probably the best of the weekend, Juan Martin del Potro edged world #1 Novak Djokovic, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, to end the six-time grand slam champ’s 2013 match win streak at 22 in a row. Delpo showed how he was able to beat both Federer and Nadal to win the 2009 U.S. Open with monster forehands and serves in the 130s. Djokovic played his patented offensive-defense to create tension and keep it close for almost 3 hours, but in the end, Delpo’s consistent offense won the day.
In doubles, the Bryan Brothers won their first Indian Wells crown, beating the Polish sensation Jerzy Janowicz and his partner Treat Huey, 6-3, 3-6, 10-6. This match featured big serving by Bob Bryan and Jerzy, and smart steady play from their partners, Mike and Treat. In the match tie-break however, the Bryans showed their grace under pressure, forcing errors and burying any shot floated above the net.
In the women’s doubles final, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina won 6-0, 5-7, 10-6 over the three seeds, Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik. The match looked like a wash after a dominating first set by the fourth seeds, but to their credit, Petrova / Srebotnik, a more experienced doubles pair, got their act together with better serving and Srebotnik’s aggressive net play to force the super-tiebreak. Amazingly, despite momentum being with Petrova / Srebotnik, Makarova / Vesnina regrouped with consistent ground-strokes and solid first serves to win the day and claim a big title.
On Sunday, the Women’s final featured Sharapova and Wozniacki, with Sharapova the heavy favorite with a 4-2 head-to-head record and the no. 3 ranking showing how strong her play has been recently. Wozniacki, the eighth seed and a surprise finalist, could give little resistance, although her strong defense forced several long deuce games, eventually the barrage of offense from Sharapova proved too much. In 80 minutes, Sharapova claimed her second Indian Wells title.
In the men’s final, del Potro and Nadal picked up where they left off, with Nadal scrambling from sideline to sideline and Delpo pounding hard flat groundies. Nadal’s speed was remarkable and after splitting the first two sets 4-6, 6-3, the length of the Djokovic match started to take a toll on Delpo. The 6’6” man’s footwork faltered just enough for Nadal to secure an early break that he rode to a grinding 6-4 victory for his record twenty-second masters 1000 trophy.
This was a great weekend of tennis with lots of crowd energy. The stadium in Indian Wells has great seats from all sides. We plan to put a group package together again next year, so look for Gene’s email around December and get the good seats early as this tournament was sold out!