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.
Another great day of tennis today!
First, Na Li beat Agniezka Radwanska in a high level match. A lot of long rallies with the better end for Na Li with a score of 7/5 6/3. The former coach of Justine Henin seems to really have a positive impact on her! Li’s husband has been doing a lot of roadwork in the past years especially since Na’s former coach Thomas Hogsted switched to work with Maria Sharapova. Carlos Rodriguez, Na Li’s current coach, has been with her since shortly before the US Open 2012. You can really see that he has certain things he wants his players to do during a match. Na Li is definitely playing more offensive meaning she is going to the net or at least playing a couple of swing volleys after the opponent has been pushed into the corner.
Another 5 set match was played by the two Spanish players, Almagro and Ferrer. They were battling each other out there for hours. Almagro was up two sets to love serving for the match at 5/4 in the third but couldn’t serve it out. Ferrer grinded his way back into the match to win in five sets 4/6 4/6 7/5 7/6 6/2.