What a stadium!
All players love to be here and love to play in the main stadium in front of a special crowd here at Indian Wells.
It was another early day that began with Sorana Cirstea. My colleague Sven Groeneveld and I were on court with her together with her full-time coach Victor Ionita.
The BNP Paribas Open unofficially started yesterday. The qualifying matches were going all day. The men’s main draw event starts Friday, and the women’s main draw event in Wednesday.
Most of the main draw players do come here nearly a week before they start. Not only because it is so beautiful, but also because the facility has a lot to offer. Every year it is improving and people have started calling it the 5th Slam.
My first day here started early at 7:30 a.m. with practice for Ayumi Morita and Sorana Cirstea. I hadn’t seen Ayumi and her coach, Junichi, since the Australian Open. So it was really nice to catch up with them. Ayumi has a new racquet that certainly will help her to improve her game further.
My name is Mats Merkel, I am a 28-year-old tennis coach working on the tennis tour traveling about 25-30 weeks a year. For the past six years I have been working for the adidas player development program, a team that includes 4 coaches: Sven Groeneveld, Darren Cahill, Gil Reyes and me.
Within this time I have been working with both WTA and ATP players such as Henin, Ivanovic, Wozniacki, Morita, Cirstea, Kirilenko, Pavlyuchenkova, Robson, Sock, De Bakker, Verdasco, Tsonga and Murray.
During this Australian Open I will have the pleasure to write daily blogs and provide you with information on what is going on here Down Under. Enjoy!