No. 8 Suzann Pettersen, who has been a three-time runnerup here at the Kraft Nabisco Championship got to play with a guy who’s tasted victory and the agony of defeat a few times in his career — not on the course but in the ring.
Pettersen played her pro-am round with boxing great Oscar de la Hoya before the start of today’s first round here at Mission Hills Country Club.
She started the tournament at 4-under and is one of the early leaders with some players still waiting to tee off.
She said the two compared the preparation for each sport, the similarities and she was surprised by his demeanor.
“If you don’t know who he is, I don’t think you would ever guess that he was a boxer,” she said. “He’s just too nice of a guy and quite tiny to be a boxer. But I know he was very quick, and super nice guy.
“It’s always nice to kind of talk back and forth, comparisons to each sport and similarities of how you prepare to go in. Obviously for him, he needed to be in the ring. He was petrified to step in, but once he stepped in, he was on.”
We’ll see if Pettersen can provide the knockout punch this weekend.
Maria Sharapova hugs her coach Thomas Hogstedt just after her win over Caroline Wozniacki at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday, March 17, 2013. / Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun
Maria Sharapova has won the BNP Paribas Open for the second time. The Russian beat another former champion here, Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. It took just 1 hour, 20 minutes for Sharapova to take the $1M prize.
Sharapova posted some impressive numbers along the way. she won 86 percent of her first serves and won 65 total points. She had 72 percent of her first serves in play and also saved 4 of 9 break points.
Sharapova is now projected to overtake Victoria Azarenka for No. 2 with Azarenka dropping to No. 3. Her victory today means the Russian has won at least one title in 11 years.
She is the eighth player to won multiple singles titles here, joining Martina Navratilova, Mary Joe Fernandez, Steffi Graff, Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, Daniela Hantuchova and Kim Clijsters.
Navratilova is the only player to win it back to back (1990-91).
Rafael Nadal has advanced to the BNP Paribas Open finals for the fourth time. He’s won it twice, in 2007 and 09.
He beat Tomas Berdych in Saturday’s semifinals, making it 13-3 overall and 12 in a row against the No. 6 seed.
Berdych said he didn’t see any issues plaguing Nadal’s ailing knee in the match.
“(He was) moving quite well,” he said after the match. “He looks strong again.”
Nadal will face the winner of the Novak Djokovic v. Juan Marin Del Potro match, which is currently on court.
Here’s some key stats from the Nadal-Berdych match
match time: 1:43
Aces: 4, Doubles faults 4, 1st serve in 54 percent, first serve points won 69, total winners 16, unforced errors 36, nets points won 4/9, break points won 1/4
Aces: 2, Double faults 1, first serve in 69 percent, first serve points won 70, total winners 16, unforced errors 25, net points won 6/7, break points won 3/7
We’ve had a little bit of everything in the two weeks of professional tennis here at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. There’s been sun, clouds and cold, a bit of rain, a couple of earthquakes and record heat.
Four singles players have survived it all to play for a chance in the title match Sunday here; first up today and just taking the court is No. 5 Rafael Nadal who takes a 12-3 career mark against No. 6 Tomas Berdych.
The later match is No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 7 Juan Martin Del Potro. Although Djokovic fell to Del Potro in the bronze medal match at the London Olympics, he has been unstoppable since Oct. 31, winning 22 in a row.
Will it be 23 and a chance for another title?
Rafael Nadal had a chance to hit a little with the big boss here.
Like last year, Nadal had a tennis session with BNP Paribas Open and Indian Wells Tennis Garden owner Larry Ellison here during the tournament.
“It’s always a real honor,” said Nadal, who also was one of the players who served up the first ball at the groundbreaking for the stadium’s new addition with Ellison. alongside. ”It means a lot of me and especially for the tennis to have someone like Larry who is supporting like this our sport. It’s great for what he’s doing for tennis and especially for this tournament.”
Nadal pointed out that Ellison’s backhand has improved since last year’s meeting, but was it all about tennis or business?
Ellison is the CEO and founder of software giant Oracle.
“We talked a lot about tennis. He knows more tennis I think than me,” Nadal said.
Following Monday’s 4.7 earthquake here, Tuesday’s first order of business at the BNP Paribas Open is sunscreen — and lots of it.
First shake, now bake.
It’s already above 80 degrees here at Indian Wells Tennis Garden Tennis Garden and the forecast calls for 90. You can bet on it.
Fans are encouraged to apply and re-apply sunblock/screen and keep hydrated. It’s constantly being announced over the PA system here, but it never hurts to go overboard with that message.
Today is a test for the surging temps to come. Wednesday’s highs call for 93 and even higher (97) for Thursday and Friday. The weekend should bring more of the same.
The first matches of the day session have begun on all courts. In men’s action, the top half of the draw will seee action with Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro all scheduled.
On the women’s side, we’ll see Maria Sharapova, Victoria azarenak and a bog match pitting No. 8 seed Caroline Wozniacki vs. No. 10 Nadia Petrova as the final match of the evening.
Enjoy and wear a hat!
Argentinian Leonardo Mayer has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open with a back injury today. The announcement was made on stadium court just prior to the start of the match between Mayer and two-time champ Rafael Nadal.
With the conclusion of the first match of the day between No. 4 seed Angelique Kerber and Yanina Wickmayer, where Kerber took a 6-1, 7-6 (4) victory, the next match scheduled will be doubles in place of the Mayer-Nadal singles.
Not before 1 p.m., Americans Mardy Fish and James Blake will take on the team of Feliciano Lopez of Spain and Milos Raonic of Canada.
That match will be followed by the scheduled Caroline Wozniacki vs. Elena Vesnina.
That’s what’s shakin’ at Indian Wells Tennis Garden now.
Just a few hundred fans had entered the gates at Indian Wells Tennis Garden when today’s earthquake rolled through the desert. No matches were in progress.
BNP Paribas Open matches weren’t scheduled to begin for at least an hour after the quake struck at 9:56 a.m. A handful of international media were on hand, some watching practices and said when the quake struck players stopped for a minute, looked around and continued.
Other members of the media that arrived at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden about 45 minutes later said the Anza-based quake, with the epicenter located 14 miles southwest of La Quinta, had little impact. One journalist was in the hotel pool and saw water sloshing, while others saw a little wavering with curtains and a little bouncing with their flat screen TVs.
At the Indian Wells Tennis Garden media center, longtime volunteer Mary Caprelian said the only noticable thing was that some of the open doors shook shut.
KPSI program director Steve Kelly was in Cathedral City when it shook.
“I immediately checked mydesert.com and social media for richter scale reading,” he said after arriving at Indian Wells.
Tournament officals at IWTG performed a thorough expection of the facilty with no damage to report; “safe and secure”
After missing 189 days of competition, American and former top 10 Mardy Fish won his first match today at the BNP Paribas Open, 6-3,3-6, 6-4 against American qualifier Bobby Reynolds.
Fish had been sidlined since the U.S. Open last fall for heath reasons. He was diagnosed with an accelerated heartbeat and has since returned.
Reynolds said despite the loss, he was happy to see Fish back on the court.
“I donlt know the full extent of what happened, but it’s scary thing — anything to do with the heart,” he said. “He’s great for the game and American tennis.”