I don’t about you but Indian Wells this year has worn me out. And the fact that Miami starts today doesn’t give anyone much time to decompress from all that went down the last ten days. But I’ll do my best to review this great event that always seems to find controversy where there shouldn’t be and where players seemingly come out of nowhere to win.
Fed’s Photo Op.
Indian Wells, before it even started, was subject to wild rumors as respected tennis journalists, according to their “sources”, stated that Roger Federer would not play the event due to his recent lung infection. But when Federer’s own Facebook page showed the No.1 seed on the courts of Indian Wells, it again showed how social media trumped “old” media. Which begs the question if players can be their own official source for news, what role does traditional sports still media play?
Seeds of Discontent.
Chaos ensued again on the women’s side as the prohibitive favorite Justine Henin got dumped second round by Gisela Dulko. But it wasn’t just Henin that got dumped — Kuznetsova, Clijsters, Sharapova all lost early. But Henin and Clijsters’s early losses proved that both women, despite their early comeback success, won’t saunter through the rest of the year as the other women on tour don’t fear them. Henin’s loss should also put to rest any ideas of seeding her beyond her current ranking of No. 33. If she earns a title the hard way, so be it.
Sam Stosur with her semifinal run breaks into the WTA top 10 for the first time in her career joining an elite list of Australian women to do so. The question now is can Stosur find a way to use her all-court game to win a Grand Slam? Maybe. She’s also got the added pressure of an entire country whose men players are in a current downward spiral ranking-wise and tons of infighting in their own national tennis association of how to fix the problem. So all eyes are on the girl from Queensland to “do ’em proud”. No pressure Sam.
Did You See That Old Guy?
If Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick meet up at a bar in Miami next week and say to each other “Where did that old guy come from?”, it wouldn’t surprise me. Taking nothing away from Ivan Ljubicic’s impressive title run at Indian Wells, but Nadal should have won that semifinal. Nadal said his loss was an “an important accident”. Accident? Did a car drive onto the court and hit someone? The reason Nadal didn’t win was he basically thought Ljubicic would just go away. Big mistake. Nadal can take some small comfort in the fact that he had the best form of anyone at the event and he’s probably the favorite again for Miami. And yes, those shorts were hideous.
Oh Well Andy.
Walking out of the Indian Wells arena yesterday after the men’s final, I overhead a few “oh well” from the partisan American crowd after seeing Andy Roddick lose to Ljubicic. We know he tried his best and his finalist speech was quite elequent and gracious, but it looks like U.S. fans are getting to used to the fact that Roddick, despite all of his heart and effort, may never win another big title. And we’re ok with that. Sort of. We have hope that John Isner or maybe Sam Querrey might catch fire and do something soon. But we won’t hold our breath. Until then we can hold onto our cherished memories of our former champions, despite the fact that gracious and elequent are words they haven’t mastered yet.