Thanks a lot to Tony for sharing his story and pictures!
It was another memorable evening for me at the BNP Paribas Open. Last night’s Roger Federer practice is probably my second favorite encounter with him since I started attending the tournament in 2008 — my favorite being the time in 2014 when he walked over after practice and sign my RF hat.
Things started off a little crazy. Fans camped out for hours on Practice Court 1 after they saw Federer’s name on the morning’s practice schedule for a 7 pm session. I arrived there about an hour and a half before, thinking I would get a seat, but the bleachers surrounding the court were full, and no one was budging from what was prime real estate in the Coachella Valley at that moment. So, I decided to wait along the fence of the adjacent practice lawn where the players pass on their way to practice. During this time, I tweeted my frustration to the tournament, saying that they should move Roger to an empty stadium court so everyone can see. 7 pm comes around and no Roger. 7:15 pm comes around, and still no Roger. Then there was a rumbling like you hear during a distant desert earthquake. Apparently, word had spread that Roger was actually on Stadium Court 3, so that rumbling turned into a stampede of people leaving the bleachers en masse like a heard of wild animals. When I realized what was happening, I took off running with the pack like one of those girls you see in a Beatles documentary from the 1960s. And here is what I got: prime second row seating and these photos of the greatest tennis player of all time! Enjoy!
Enjoy a few pictures of Roger Federer practicing ahead of his fourth-round match against Kei Nishikori on Sunday. He will face fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka on Thursday for a place in the Australian Open final.
Roger Federer just hit up on the outside courts. Standing a couple of meters away I watched in awe. This guy is just amazing.
— Brian Peel (@Brian_Peel) January 22, 2017
Check out a few pictures of Grigor Dimitrov practicing ahead of his fourth round match against giant killer Denis Istomin:
Novak Djokovic must be the luckiest tennis player in the world: he has benefited from a withdrawal (Jiry Vesely) and two retirements (Mikhail Youzhny and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) to reach the semifinals of the 2016 US Open. He faces Gaël Monfils today for a place in the final.
A few pictures from Novak at practice last Friday:
Enjoy a few pictures from Andy Murray‘s practice session ahead of his third round match against Paolo Lorenzi.
After a more difficult than expected first round win over Jerzy Janowicz, Novak Djokovic received a walkover after his opponent Jiri Vesely withdrew due to a forearm injury.
The world number one faces either Argentina’s Guido Pella or Russian Mikhail Youzhny on Friday.
Here are a few pictures from Novak’s practice sessions: