BNP Paribas Open

BNP Paribas Open (7)

Coverage from ATP Masters 1000 / WTA Premier Event Tournament at Indian Wells, California, March 7 - March 20, 2010

{jcomments on}indian-wells-ballgirlsVeterans in tennis are not simply those who have spent years on court wielding racquets. There are a couple of them at the BNP Paribas Open who are at the ripe old age of 16. Desirae Krawczyk and Haley Perrotte are two of the 315 ballkids working the tournament this year and they’ve been at it for eight and seven years, respectively.

Both girls play on their high school tennis team at Palm Desert High. In fact, Desirae won her first professional level match this past February, playing doubles with Coco Vandeweghe at the Childhelp Desert Classic. Is she a future WTA Tour player? “I’m workin’ on it,” she laughed, “but we’ll see how it goes.”

A Djokovic and Ivanovic fan, Desirae grew up around tennis and was encouraged by her father to learn more about the sport by volunteering as a ballgirl. For Haley, it also runs in the family: her older brother was a ballboy here when the tournament was sponsored by Adidas.

Monday, 15 March 2010 13:44

Sunday Postcard: On-Court Snapshots

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{jcomments on}Zheng Jie beat Maria SharapovaStadium 1

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was in bed early Saturday night and that extra rest helped him sail through his two set win against Marinko Matosevic Sunday morning in the first match on center stage.  Andy Murray quickly joined the Frenchman in the third round with a win over Andreas Seppi.

Maria Sharapova, however, ran into problems not only caused by her opponent, Jie Zheng, but also by her elbow.  “I just felt like I couldn’t really extend it all the way.  It was a little stuck,” she explained. While the elbow required a medical time-out, there was no break from Zheng’s baseline attack.  “She’s like a ball machine,” remarked Sharapova. 
Saturday, 13 March 2010 01:01

Ready to Rumble!

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Photos: Kirk Stenvall

Andy Roddic meets the mediaThe last six weeks have been all about rest, recuperation and preparation for three of the top men’s seeds here at the BNP Paribas Open.   Both Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick needed time to recover from injury after the Australian Open and Roger Federer was in limbo over his participation due to a recent lung infection.   Now, however, the first, third, and seventh seeds believe they’re back on track and are aiming for the title.

“I feel like I needed to build my body back up a little bit,” Andy commented earlier today, “I just had some nagging things here and there.  So I feel ready.  I feel prepared, which is a good feeling.”  Roddick expressed frustration that comes along with being unable to prepare and play properly when the body is not behaving at its best. He said, “Especially now in my career it’s definitely important for me to get those little pockets where I can kind of put everything back together again to make sure I’m ready to play again.”

Saturday, 13 March 2010 22:14

The Other Belgian

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Photos: Kirk Stenvall, Danielle Lescure

Yanina Wickmayer in a post-match interviewWith both Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin coming out of retirement recently, it might be easy to overlook Belgium’s rising star, Yanina Wickmayer.  But to see Wickmayer play in person is to watch a fearless competitor because each shot feels like “it’s all or nothing.”  This aggressive style has served her well as it took her to the semifinals of the 2009 US Open (raising her ranking into the Top 20 in the process) and proved to be quite a handful for Justine Henin six weeks ago in Melbourne.  But such high percentage play comes with equally high risk. Today, in Germany’s Julia Goerges, Wickmayer faced a player who also likes to go for broke.   Though Goerges needed a few games to find her footing in the match, she soon let loose a string of winners off both sides, her backhand down-the-line being particularly fierce.

After losing the first set, the German confidently raced to a 4-1 lead in the second thanks to numerous errors from her opponent.  “She was really making a lot of winners and really putting a lot of pressure on me,” Wickmayer remarked.  That pressure exhibited itself in double faults and going for too much on her shots which continually cost her points.