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.
Angelique Kerber was practicing with her coach Torben Beltz. Here you can see them on their way to the second practice of the day.
Andrea Petkovic, who was in Las Vegas, played her first round match of qualies. She beat Yulia Putintseva 6-0, 6-3 and was really relieved to have won we first match in 2013! I am very happy for her! She is a great person and a great tennis player. Hopefully she will be injury free and can get her ranking up to where it should be.
At 5 p.m. I had a hit at LaQuinta, a hotel that has courts with the same surface as the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Lots of players stay there and practice there.
Andy Murray came at 6:30 p.m. with Dani Vallverdu and physical trainer Jez Green to do some movement drills.
Tsonga was also seen practicing and attracted a lot of fans.
All in all the first day was great and I am looking forward to the next day.