As I was getting ready for the trip people kept saying “Palm Springs? Oh, that’s in the desert. At least you won’t have to worry about tennis getting rained out.” Right? Wrong. Less than 10 inches of rain per year means that it rains sometime and the tail end of winter is a likely time. Did hold off all day and evening Thursday but came down overnight, which turned our morning tennis into a Chalk Talk on the Vstrator. While I missed playing tennis it is a fascinating tool and I'm glad that Paul was able to really show us how it worked. I'm looking forward to having my serve analyzed. It’s one thing that I’ve worked on a lot since I can do that by myself. It’s been quite a turn around from praying that I can be the 4th server to getting handed the balls first and told “you serve first, we always win your game”, especially by guys. It’s not power, it’s placement and spin and getting a return that usually set up my partner.
That’s for tomorrow. The rain stopped early, the wind is blowing and everything will be dry by the time matches start. Today we have an executive box at Court 1. One of my favorite things about the trips with Tennis Ventures is the day with an executive box. A place to watch tennis, talk with others in the group, food and drink available all day, and you can come and go from main court to the outer courts. In Australia it was great to get in out of the sun and at Indian Wells it was a place to warm up.
The sun came out but there wasn’t much warmth in it. Watched Steve Johnson give Pablo Andujar a run for his money with Angelique’s blanket wrapped around my legs. My first stop on the way to the outer courts was to stop at the Fila store and buy a pair of leggings for under my skirt; too many good matches on the outer courts to stay inside. I saw Sara Errani struggle to a 3 set victory. And then a superb battle between David’s and Goliath’s: David Ferrer (5’ 9”) & Tommy Robredo (5’ 11’) versus John Isner (6’ 9”) and Sam Querrey (6’ 6”). The contrast when the pairs walk on court was amazing. I’m only 5’ 3” and wouldn’t normally consider someone 5’ 9” to seem short.
What a great match, with one of the best examples of good sporting behavior that I’ve ever seen. Isner had a big serve on the line and Ferrer it an amazing clean winner in the alley. Isner didn’t have a chance to return it. As the ball lands the Chair overrules the linesman and calls the serve out. Ferrer protests and when the Chair doesn’t budge, challenges the call on the serve. Now the Chair is going to argue Ferrer’s right to challenge so Isner raises his hand and says challenge. The replay shows the ball landed cleanly on the line. Isner starts to walk over to the ad court to serve and the Chair says “replay the point, first serve”. Seriously? Ferrer throws up his arms, disgusted, but doesn’t get abusive or argue further; just walks back to receive the ball shaking his head. Isner stands at the service line for a second then walks over the Querrey, they talk and Isner turns to the Chair, concedes the point to Ferrer & Robredo and walks over to the ad court to continue. Absolutely the right thing to do. The Chair seemed dumbfounded, Isner again indicates point to the opponents and stays at the ad service line. No one would have blamed Isner for abiding by the Chair’s decision but he stood up and did the right thing. Great to see. Too bad that someone had to lose that match.
Watched part of Liezel Huber & Maria Sanchez’s match. They seemed to struggle as a partnership losing to a pair they should have beat easily. I was hoping that Liezel would get back together with Cara Black since she has come out of retirement. Saw that pair in person once, what a great duo. Back to the suite to warm up and watch Sharapova and Schiavone before it was time to head back to the hotel and catch the Bryan Brother’s match on TV. The downside of seeing matches in person is that I find watching on TV a bit boring now, even when it’s a close match. There’s just nothing to compare to being courtside.