Indian Wells day 2

Thanks a lot to Cindy for sharing photos and story of her stay at Indian Wells. Read first part here.

Women’s doubles…Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci against Svetlana Kuznetsova and Sam Stosur. It was a great match which went to a third set.

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

The winners…Stosur and Kuznetsova:

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

Radek Stepanek waiting for the serve:

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

Stepanek was playing Istomin. Stepanek won:

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

Here is the coin toss in the match between Peter Polansky and Juan Monaco.

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

Last match we saw was on the beautiful new Stadium 2. We were up high but look how well we could see. The match was Casey Dellacqua and Ash Barty v. Sabine Lisicki and Martina Hingis:

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

Sabine Lisicki and Martina Hingis:

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

Dellacqua and Barty. They won in three sets.

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

More Indian Wells pics:

Pete Sampras

The second-ever World Tennis Day took place on Monday 3 March 2014. World Tennis Day aims to promote tennis and increase participation among players around the globe, and this year’s celebrations were centred around exhibitions featuring Grand Slam or Davis Cup champions, on three different continents:
Li Na vs Sam Stosur and Tomas Berdych vs Lleyton Hewitt in Hong Kong
Pat Cash vs Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi vs Pete Sampras in London
Bob and Mike Bryan vs John and Patrick McEnroe, and Andy Murray vs Novak Djokovic in New York

For the first time this year an event was organized in London, and obviously I couldn’t miss that! Read my recap below and stay tuned for more pics and videos.

Cardio tennis demo

To start the evening, a demo of cardio tennis, a group fitness activity featuring fast paced drills and games. It combines the best features of tennis with cardiovascular exercise.
It does not require tennis skills, but is all about keeping your heart rate up, burning calories and having fun. The main purpose is to get fit.

Cardio tennis

Cardio tennis

Ivan Lendl vs Pat Cash

First highlight of the evening, the one-set match between 9-time Grand Slam champion Ivan Lendl and Wimbledon 1987 champion Pat Cash.

The Ivan Lendl from today is really different from the somewhat cold and robotic player he was back in the days. Believe me or not, Lendl was the real entertainer of the event, he kept talking and joking with the crowd and his opponent.

Ivan Lendl to Pat Cash:

Are you ok? I am supposed to be the old guy!

Cash attacked the net and Lendl demonstrated his back-court skills: drop shots, passing shots and powerful backhands. The Australian took the set 8-6.

Pat Cash, Andrew Castle, Ivan Lendl and Jonathan Ross:

Pat Cash and Ivan Lendl

Ivan Lendl

Ivan Lendl

Ivan Lendl

Pat Cash

Pat Cash

Pat Cash

Pat Cash

Below, Ivan Lendl being interviewed by fellow legend Mats Wilander:

Ivan Lendl

ITHF rings ceremony

The International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2014 was announced on Monday, newly elected Hall of Famers are: three-time Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport, wheelchair tennis pioneer Chantal Vandierendonck, former USTA President Jane Brown Grimes, legendary coach Nick Bollettieri and the “voice of Wimbledon”, John Barrett.
Chantal Vandierendonck and John Barrett were in attendance in London and were honored in a special ceremony.
One of the early stars of wheelchair tennis, Chantal Vandierendonck was the Esther Vergeer of the 90’s: she was the first Wheelchair Tennis World Champion in 1991, she won seven US Open and five Paralympic medals. She is the first Dutch tennis player to be inducted to the Hall of Fame.
A former British Davis Cup captain, John Barrett was the “Voice of Wimbledon” on the BBC from 1971-06. His wife, former top-ranked player Angela Mortimer Barrett, was inducted into the Hall in 1993. Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf are the only other married couple in the ITHF.

Shown below: ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti, Hall of Fame Chairman Christopher Clouser, Vice Chairman of the Nomination commitee Ingrid Lofdahl Bentzer, Chantal Vandierendonck and John Barrett.

Chantal Vandierendonck with John Barrett

They were then joined on court by Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi who received Hall of Fame rings.

Said Christopher Clouser:

“These one-of-a-kind rings are a symbol of all that they have accomplished and their legacy in the sport.”

Ivan Lendl

Pete Sampras

Andre Agassi

Gordon Reid vs Marc McCarroll

Next, British wheelchair tennis players Gordon Reid and Marc McCarroll took to the court to play a championship tie-break. World number 3 Reid won easily 8-3 over world number 12 McCarroll.

Wheelchair tennis follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis. Except the ball is allowed to bounce twice. The second bounce can be either inside or outside the court boundaries.

If you get the opportunity, don’t hesitate to go watch some wheelchair tennis, it is highly entertaining. You can read here and here about my day at the London Paralympics in 2012.

Gordon Reid

Gordon Reid

Gordon Reid and Marc McCarroll

Andre Agassi vs Pete Sampras

And finally, the match everyone was waiting for: Andre Agassi vs Pete Sampras.
With contrasting styles and temperaments, they played each other 34 times from 1989 through 2002, with Sampras winning 20 of their matches. They played some memorable matches like the 2001 US Open quaterfinal, 2002 US Open final. Their rivalry was the Nadal-Federer of the 90’s.

Of the four Grand Slam champions that played that evening, Pete Sampras was the only player I had never watch playing live before, and I enjoyed watching his smooth serves and volleys.
Sampras struggled a bit at the beginning but from what he said after the match, he doesn’t play much tennis these days. I guess it’s easier to find back your rythm when you play from the baseline than when you play serve and volley.
Agassi took the match 6-3 7-6 on a Sampras double fault.

There was not much interaction with the crowd and despite what they said it’s obvious these guys will never be friends, they just tollerate each other.

Pete Sampras, Elaine Paige and Andre Agassi:

Pete Sampras, Elaine Paige, Andre Agassi

Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi

Sampras and Agassi lap of honor:

Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi

Despite the (really) high price of the ticket I really enjoyed this evening of tennis featuring four tennis legends. A suggestion for next year: what about Rafter-Ivanisevic and Becker-Edberg matches?

More pics and videos of the matches Cash-Lendl and Agassi-Sampras:

With her 6-3 6-3 win over Daniela Hantuchova, Serena Williams set up an an all-time Australian Open record with her 61st singles victory at Melbourne Park. She’ll play Ana Ivanovic who defeated Sam Stosur 6-7 6-4 6-2.

Li Na saved one match point to defeat Lucie Safarova 1-6 7-6 6-3. She’ll face Elena Makarova in the next round. Other players qualified: Angelique Kerber, Flavia Pennetta, Casey Dellacqua and Eugenie Bouchard.

Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych blast their way to last 16. Joining them in the fourth round are Fabio Fognini, Kevin Anderson and Florian Mayer.

Seeds upsets:

Florian Mayer def Jerzy Janowicz (20), Tommy Robredo (17) def Richard Gasquet (9)

Video highlights:

Quote of the day: Casey Dellacqua

With her win over Jie Zheng, Aussie Casey Dellacqua qualified for the fourth round for the second time of her career, having also reached the fourth round in 2008. And she sure enjoyed the heat:

But, yeah, the heat was great. I love it. It makes my body feel good, too, the heat, the warm. Yeah, I really enjoyed it out there. Yeah, it would be nice if it would be a bit hotter for the next week. I’m sure everyone else will be over it.

Pic of the day: Daniela Hantuchova

Daniela Hantuchova

Video of the day: Australian Open Heat


Matches to follow on Day 6:

Agnieszka Radwanska (5) – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (29)
Rafael Nadal (1) – Gael Monfils (25)
Andy Murray (4) – Feliciano Lopez (26)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (10) – Gilles Simon (18)
Milos Raonic (11) – Grigor Dimitrov (22)

Serena Williams, Li Na, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet raced into the third round. Sam Stosur dispatched Tsevetana Pironkova 6-2 6-0 and will meet Ana Ivanovic on Friday.

Seeds upsets:

Monica Niculescu def Sabine Lisicki (15), Casey Dellacqua def Kirsten Flipkens (18), Florian Mayer def Mikhail Youzhny (14), Sam Querrey def Ernests Gulbis (23), Denis Istomin def Dmitry Tursunov (30), Damir Dzumhur def Ivan Dodig (32)

Video highlights:

Stat of the day: 60

With her win over Vesna Dolonc, Serena Williams equals Margaret Court‘s record of most matches won at the Australian Open

Pic of the day: Ernests Gulbis

Ernests Gulbis

Site of the day: Grand Slam Gal

Mel did the tennis fan Slam in 2012, so she knows a thing or two about her tennis. Check out her site Grand Slam Gal where she shares her tips for buying Australian Open, her guide to going to the Australian Open, and enjoy her pics of Rafael Nadal, Sam Stosur, Rafter/Hewitt and more!

Video of the day: Gasquet and Davydenko rally


Matches to follow on Day 4:

Rafael Nadal (1) – Thanasi Kokkinakis
Benoit Paire (27) – Nick Kyrgios
Marin Cilic – Gilles Simon (18)
Serena/Venus Williams – Kristina Mladenovic/Flavia Pennetta

Sam Stosur