Wildcards announced for the 2013 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA

Former Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian leads the list of players granted wildcards into this year's BNP Paribas Open.

Former Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian leads the list of players granted wildcards into this year’s BNP Paribas Open.

Four former top-five ranked players along with rising American stars highlight the list of players granted wildcards into next week’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA. David Nalbandian, Tommy Robredo, Jakes Blake and Kimiko Date-Krumm have all at one point in their careers been ranked inside the top 5 in the world rankings. Up and coming Americans Tim Smyczek, Steve Johnson, Madison Keys, Maria Sanchez, Melanie Oudin and Taylor Townsend will all have their chance to take down some of the world’s best as well with guaranteed admittance into the main draw. Rounding out the wildcards on the women’s side are Shahar Peer, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Kristina Mladenovic.

“This year’s main draw wildcards span from seasoned veterans, to rising American and international stars to those returning from injury,” said tournament direction Steve Simon in a recent press release. “Awarding wildcards to players like David Nalbandian, James Blake, Madison Keys and Taylor Townsend add to the allure of early-round matches for fans and provide the potential for these deserving athletes to break through and make a move up their respective Tour’s rankings.”

Germany's Andrea Petkovic received a wildcard into the qualifying draw of the BNP Paribas Open.

Germany’s Andrea Petkovic received a wildcard into the qualifying draw of the BNP Paribas Open.

Some notables among the players awarded wildcards into the qualifying draw are former top-ten player Andrea Petkovic, UCLA standout Dennis Novikov and up and coming Americans Christian Harrison, Jack Sock, Rhyne Williams and Grace Min.

Players begin battling in the qualifying draw Monday, March 4 for a berth in the main draw that begins on Thursday the 7th. The BNP Paribas Open is the largest ATP World Tour and WTA combined two-week event in the world, offering more than $12 million in prize money.

 

 

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AG

Attention, ladies! Sports bra guide

Sorry guys, here comes the girl talk.

Any female athlete out there knows that finding a supportive sports bra to sweat in is half the battle! With female active wear gaining more attention and spotlight lately, there are more options than ever.

Sports Bra Options

The key to a successful sports bra includes support and comfort with an added bonus for looking great! Some bras hold you in well, but are suffocating, and unless you are in the craziest of shape and have NO body fat, you have the always hated issue of “back fat” (yep, I said it and I know you ladies know what I’m talking about!). Then there are those bras that fit great, but have no support.  So I decided to go on a scavenger hunt through the Tennis Warehouse website and try on as many sports bras as I could.  I found some great options that will fit all your needs from practicing and playing matches on the court, to weight training in the gym, and post-workout wear. Since I’ve had some requests to do some investigating for us ladies that are a little more endowed in this area than others, and yes, I seem to fit that bill and need that extra support when I’m on the court, so check out some of my findings.

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Vergeer teaches us life lessons

Ever so often, we are lucky to experience not only sheer talent, but a timeless role model continuing to better the sport after their retirement.   Esther Vergeer.  I hope you have heard of her, Jason wrote an awesome blog about her here.  I wanted to take the chance to acknowledge not only her accomplishments on the court since she has retired this month after being the most dominant figure in Wheelchair Tennis, but also note the great things she is doing in her work off the court.

Retiring a few months short of her 32nd birthday, her stats are pretty mind-blowing.  She has 42 Grand Slam titles.  22 year-end championships.  And 7 Paralympic titles.  When an ATP or WTA player holds the number one spot for a year, it’s an impressive feat.  Vergeer has held the number one spot since 1999.    And she ended her career on a winning streak of 470 matches that began in January 2003.
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