Indian Wells 2013: Quakes and upsets shake amidst thriving tennis
Mid-way into the first Masters of the 2013 season, and there have been quite a few surprises in the BNP Paribas Open already. Quite a few upsets in the men’s section, while the women – ironically, as unpredictable as some have come to be – continue to march on with a more stable, yet highly entertaining display of tennis. Yet, surprises or not, upsets or straight-forward, in its 37th year of existence, Indian Wells continues to be as fulfilling as the years preceding it – even without the Williams sisters to add to the plethora of excitement.
Upsets’ galore, women make merry
Since the opening salvo has already been fired, it only makes sense to talk about the unexpected number of upsets that heralded the start of the men’s Masters’ season. David Ferrer, John Isner and Janko Tipsarevic – all big casualties, falling prey to the sheer doggedness of Kevin Anderson, Lleyton Hewitt and Ernests Gulbis respectively. Not a single one though, foreseen or predicted on the cards.
If the men were slightly skewed in their tennis-playing approach, the women had no problems staying to their course. Victoria Azarenka continued to impress everyone with her scorching form, and has firmly set a date with Dane Caroline Wozniacki in the last eight. Diminutive Italian Sara Errani continued to sail through the earlier rounds, taking down Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli along the way. Big names like Sam Stosur, Maria Sharapova, Maria Kirilenko and Petra Kvitova too have made their presence felt this week at the Californian desert.
Off with the Djokers, usher in the pirate
The talk of the tournament has been Rafa Nadal, with his first hard court appearance in almost 10 months. The Spaniard, who’s just been testing the waters with a few clay court tournaments earlier this season, had a pretty much sedate outing in his opening hard-court week. If all goes well for the Mallorcan, he may well find himself facing Roger Federer in the quarter-final.
It’s all about Vika, again
No one has made waves in the Indian Wells as much as the Belarusian. But where during the Australian Open she was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, Victoria Azarenka has not put a wrong foot, and is gunning for glory as she always does; with her own brand of passion and her trademark touch of bumbling enthusiasm.
Murray on the toes, Roger that!
Defending champion Roger Federer has a lot of things laid out on his plate. Things didn’t go his way at Rotterdam, just as they wavered out of an expected trajectory at Dubai. But the 17-time Grand Slam champion seemed to have wiped his tennis radar of those blips as he cruised in his initial two matches. With Murray looming in the horizon and his rankings under dire threat, Roger Federer’s title defence gets as interesting as the word can get. Especially as he deals with a ‘tweaked’ back right before the start of his pre-quarters against countryman Stan Wawrinka.
Aside from tennis, Indian Wells also paid host to a different – albeit unwelcome – guest this season. A minor earthquake struck the tennis destination, sending both players and fans into a panicked frenzy. California might be well known for its seismic activities, but this was one seismic interruption that would rattle on the players’ minds for a long time to come.
Tennis however continues to flourish at the Californian desert, as the players can attest, no matter the quakes and shakes jolting the arena. For fans worldwide, the rest of the week promises even more intrigue, with certain specifically mouth-watering encounters just ready to enhance an already enticed palate.