10 Things You Might Have Already Missed at 2014 Indian Wells

Hey guys.

So, I wrote a big post about coming back to tennis, but then there was a big ice storm in Greensboro and my cable, internet and power were knocked out for two days. LIFE.

Anyways, I’m back AGAIN and trying to get fully caught up on the happenings so far in Indian Wells before things get any more out of hand. I read through the most recent Break Points, scoured through pressers and scrolled endlessly on Twitter and I think I finally have a bit of a grasp on the events that were.

In case you’ve had a crazy weekend too, here’s what you’ve missed at the BNP Paribas Open.

1. Victoria Azarenka struggled with her ongoing foot injury, lost to Lauren Davis in the second round.

Another tournament, another injury concern for Azarenka. This time she came back way too soon from the foot injury she suffered prior to the Australian Open and struggled mightily in her 6-0, 7-6 loss to Davis.

It’s becoming clear to me after this debacle and the WTA Championships last year that she feels so burned by the over-the-top criticism of her retirements and withdrawals that she just doesn’t know where to draw the line anymore. Here are some quotes from her presser:

Q. Did you have medical assurance that you couldn’t do further damage to it as long as you played tonight?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I’m too stubborn for that. As I said, I just wanted to give my best.
When I’m on the court, I just want to try to do as much as I can, even if it’s on one leg. You know, I’m going to try to fight and give it everything I have.
It’s a learning process for me, something that I have to go through. I just have to push myself through.

Q. Why the change in mindset about retiring?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Because I want to learn how to go through the tough thing, how to try to do the best in the toughest situation, you know. Sometimes it takes time. It’s a process to go through.
You’ve got to learn how to win, you know, in bad situations and ugly situations and stuff. That’s part of our job. You can’t feel great every day, so…

I have a lot of thoughts the way the media treats injuries, the way injuries effect different players in different ways, and the way we should just all mind our own business, but I’ll save that for later. For now I’ll just leave these here:

You’re welcome.

2. Fabio Fognini had another glorious, profanity-filled meltdown.

In his second-round match against Ryan Harrison, Fabio Fognini was in PEAK form while he argued with the umpire about whether or not a point should be replayed.

As Beyond the Baseline reports, there have been a lot of umpire controversies so far at Indian Wells…and most of them have involved El Jennati. Unfortunately, not all of the arguments involved Fognini. All arguments always should involve Fognini. ATP, WTA, or just life in general.

Just because, here’s a picture of Fabio at Milan Fashion Week:

(Can you tell I’m enjoying finally having access to all of the Getty pics? It’s a dream come true)

3. Stan Wawrinka returned to the tour with a win, and offered up some great advice.

Wawrinka took out Ivo Karlovic fairly easily in his first ATP singles match as a Grand Slam Champion, and afterwards he showed some great perspective in his presser.

Q. You have had a long career, ups and downs, lots of input and advice. What would you say is the best piece of advice that you have gotten in your career?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Is many, many, but maybe to think and to try to work on the long term, and when you go on the practice court not expecting to win the next matches because you did a great week on the practice.
It’s more about every day it’s important to give everything and the result will come. If it’s not the next month, it’s maybe in two or three years. But you have to try and fight and try and improve for that.


Wawrinka is also playing doubles with Federer, and the buddies are having a blast.

4. Roger Federer talked about his other half.

Fed’s entire press conference after his win over Paul Henri-Mathieu is worth a read, as he provides some great perspective about his current life on tour. However, I really enjoyed reading what he had to say about Mirka, because I don’t hear Fed talk about her that often.

Q. The other day Pete was talking about the role his wife Bridget was playing and spoke very beautifully how it was really important having her in his camp, saying it doesn’t matter what others thought, she was always there for him. Could you talk about the role of Mirka in your career?

ROGER FEDERER: I think every wife is important. Mine is no different. You know, she’s been involved to some degree as of late, but I guess more involved, you know, midway through our relationship just because she came to every practice, every match, spent breakfast, lunch, and dinner together for years.
I mean, still very intense today, but just we have kids now, and, you know, she’s seen 900 matches, I guess. She’s okay missing one once in a while and not coming to the practices anymore.
But she’s been very important in my life, not just as a tennis player but overall. I’m happy that she always thought in the best interest for me and my career and never pulled me away. It would have been easy for her to say, Look, can we not change it up or do different?
I hear stories, you know, some guys don’t get allowed to travel maybe three, four weeks on the stretch in a row somewhere. The only request she had is we can spend as much as time as possible together, which is what I wanted anyway.

Q. It helped she was on the tour herself?

ROGER FEDERER: I guess so. But at the same time, I guess it must also be nice to have a girlfriend or wife who has nothing to do with tennis, you know, doesn’t know everybody. Depends how you see it.
I thought it was a positive for me, because when she started traveling with me, she was injured on her heel and she couldn’t run or walk anymore at that point. She was on crutches and everything. Then she decided to come on tour with me, and I guess it was for her like‑‑ it extended her career a little bit. That’s why she was so excited and motivated to still be back on the tour, but with me in the supporting team more than as a player. Which was nice for her, I think.

5. Speaking of insightful interviews, read this entire press conference by Ryan Harrison.

It’s another disappointing tournament by the American men–only John Isner is still standing. Jose Higueras is saying things and questions are, once again, being asked.

But hold the eyerolls. One of the best things, in my opinion, to come out of the early rounds of Indian Wells was this press conference with Ryan Harrison. The 21-year-old (doesn’t it feel like he’s older than that??) spoke at length with the media after his loss to Fognini. Since Harrison’s results have faltered he hasn’t been in press as often, and I’d honestly forgotten how well spoken he is. Below is only a small portion of his presser.

Q. You won a match when you were 15; came on tour. There was kind of impatience or urgency about things. I’m wondering if now, seeing like how many older guys are competing and seeing not really young guys are breaking through that easy, does that help you as you sort of transition and make your way as a professional tennis player?

RYAN HARRISON: I mean, there is also a sense of urgency with me. I’m getting a lot better at being able to put things in perspective like and continue to, I guess, not make irrational decisions about, Oh, my god, I can’t believe I lost, all this stuff. Like being smart about understanding you can put yourself in positions.
But at the same time, I have an extreme sense of urgency to make this happen. I mean, it’s impossible to say that I don’t hear and see the people who are out there even supporting me tonight. Guys that are just literally dieing for someone to wave the flag with pride.
I can’t tell you how bad I want to be that. I would love to be that guy who people can watch and know that for American tennis, for the average American tennis player to be able to look up and see someone that’s not afraid, that’s going to get there and just, you know, compete with everything and leave everything out there.
I mean, that’s my dream. I mean, I want to be that guy, you know, and I’m going to do everything I can to make that happen.
You can never be for sure it’s going to happen or not, but I can promise you there is never going to be something I didn’t try to make it happen.

Q. There is no comfort that might be 26 or 27, not 21 or 22?

RYAN HARRISON: No. I mean, right now I truly believe that I’m capable of going deep in these tournaments right now, and I have to. That’s my mentality, you know.
I mean, it’s just the way I go about things. I have never been a guy who was, I guess, content with a moment that I was at.
I mean, it’s what’s gotten me this far. It’s the way I’m going to keep going about things. My coaches, my trainer, my team around me, they will think with the process mentality, with the, you know, let’s continue to build and work on this and work on this, and we will continue to connect all the pieces together.
That’s a coach’s job, to sit there and from a developmental side to put things together.
But I told Diego whenever we first started getting on court together, I said, Look, I don’t care if you tell me I have to serve and volley every point or a slice backhand every point. I don’t care what you tell me. I will listen and I will work. There is never going to be a moment I’m okay with losing a game.
I don’t care if it’s a baseline game or whatever. I will never be okay and content with losing in practice and matches and tournaments or whatever. So just know that whatever our drill is, like, I’m going to try to win as hard as I possibly can.

Of course, one person didn’t think it was such a great interview:

6. Novak Djokovic crashed Grigor Dimitrov’s press conference.

Both men made it safely through their first matches (Djokovic took out Victor Hanescu, Dimitrov beat Robin Haase) and are into the third round. But apparently, they saved their best performances for the press conference.

7. Genie Bouchard is still getting stuffed animals.

Bouchard has continued her good form from Australia, taking out Shuai Peng and upsetting Sara Errani in straight sets. She continues to draw huge crowds and, yes, she’s still getting those stuffed animals.

This is pretty much how I feel about it:


8. Tomas Berdych lost to Roberto Bautista Aaut AGAIN and had some deep thoughts about it.

Berdych fell 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 to Bautista Agut in his first Indian Wells match, and he was very Berdych about it.


9. Jelena Jankovic put on a show.

Oh JJ. I fell asleep before her match was over last night, but when she was up 3-0 in the first set, she had already called the trainer twice. She got past Magdelena Rybarikova fairly easily to make it to the fourth round, but nothing is ever straightforward for the 2010 champ.

10. Upsets have wreaked havoc on sections of the draws.

The bottom half of the men’s draw is absolutely destroyed. With Juan Martin del Potro out due to his wrist injury and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych crashing out due to their ridiculousness, there are only two top 10 players left in the entire half–Novak Djokovic and Richard Gasquet.

That means that either Feliciano Lopez, Mikhail Kukushkin, Dominic Thiem, or Julien Benenteau will be in the quarterfinals (to likely face Djokovic)…

and that Gasquet, Isner, Dimitrov, Ernests Gulbis and Fernando Verdasco are the seeds left to fight for a semifinal. Insanity.

The women’s draw has been a bit more to-form, believe it or not, with the only notable upsets being Bouchard taking out Errani, Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor taking out Angelique Kerber, and, of course, Davis taking out an injured Azarenka. Most notably, Davis and Casey Dellacqua will face off in the fourth round on Tuesday for a chance to make the quarterfinals.

Okay guys, I know that 10 things doesn’t even come close to covering it. What did I miss? What have been your favorite moments so far?

Lindsay is an author, a filmmaker, a long-winded blogger, and a huge tennis fan.

7 Responses

  1. Matt Vidakovic
    Matt Vidakovic March 10, 2014 at 11:55 am |

    Great post! I think that pretty much covers it : )

  2. aaditya singhai
    aaditya singhai March 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm |

    Certain things such as
    1. Rafael Nadal hit a career high 8 DFs against Stepanek and gave Larry Ellison a mighty scare…
    2. Everyone is playing doubles…
    3. And how could you forget to mention Williams and Sharapova offering to design each other dresses??

  3. Master Ace
    Master Ace March 11, 2014 at 8:48 am |

    Missed the biggest upset on the WTA, IMO, where Torro-Flor defeated Kerber

  4. Nelly
    Nelly March 11, 2014 at 10:05 pm |

    I’m glad you brought up the bizarreness of Bouchard getting tons of stuffed animals. I actually was excited to watch her at USO, now I think the infatuation with her is getting a little bizarre – almost like the media is marketing her as some lolita type tennis player. Though she is one the most steely eyed and mentally strong players out there – kind of wonder if all this weird coverage she is getting is okay with her or not. Sabine Lisicki could learn a lot by watching Bouchard play – she doesn’t seem to get too high or low during matches, keeping an even keel. Lisicki seems to go crazy in both directions on the emotions scale. Okay, that comment was really rambling, I guess I’m dumbfounded as anyone at Bouchard right now.

    And I’m becoming a big fan of Halep now.

  5. Nelly
    Nelly March 11, 2014 at 10:15 pm |

    This isn’t exactly what I mean about Bouchard, but sort of hits on the topic


  6. Shirley Hartt
    Shirley Hartt March 11, 2014 at 11:04 pm |

    I think the whole stuffed animal thing with Bouchard is light-hearted and can be taken in a spirit of fun. She seems to genuinely enjoy getting them and if they start to pile up she can always donate some to a children’s hospital. Am surprised that this is even an issue.
    On the court she shows the mental toughness and determination she needs to succeed, and that is the important thing.

    1. Nelly
      Nelly March 12, 2014 at 8:59 pm |

      True – maybe I am reading into the Bouchard stuffed animal thing a bit too much, I guess if she doesn’t think it’s an issue then the rest of us can relax a bit. During her match I heard the commentators say that her backup job if tennis didn’t work out was being an air traffic controller – she seems to thrive under pressure.

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