BNP Parabas Tournaments broke attendance records


Story and Photos by Pat Krause

The  Indian Wells Tennis Tournaments broke attendance records again this year. over 370,000 people attended with another record breaking day Sunday with over 24,000 people filling the stadium for the finals. The tournament was held on March 5th thru the 18th at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens. The 5th and 6th were free to the public. Fans came to see if they could get to see one of their favorite tennis players practicing on the many courts at the gardens. It was also a time to see the whole area with the new tents and other new innovations that were added this year.

Matches started right away on Monday for the start of the elimination process. The top seeds managed to continue play for most of the tournament. A couple favorites like Andy Roddick and Caroline Wozniacki lost early in the second week of play. Some newcomers like Milos Raonic from Canada and Maria Kirilenko had tough matches with top seeded players. These young people will be ones to watch in the future.

The semi finals were some great tennis to watch. The stadium was filled as the top seeded players fought the tough fight to the finals. Exciting matches like Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic against John Isner. Federer and Isner made it to the finals on Sunday. Isner was so excited to beat the number one seed, Novak Djokovic. Maria Sharapova beat Ana Ivanovic while Victoria Azarenka beat Angelique Kerber to reach the finals for the ladies.

Victoria Azarenka had little trouble on Sunday to beat former winner here at Indian Wells, Maria Sharapova. Roger Federer held his own against the strong serves by American John Isner to beat him in two sets. The prize money for both men and women was one million dollars. Second place winners each received one half million dollars. One of the largest prizes in tennis.

Roger Federer became a 4 time winner here at Indian Wells. He won back to back BPN Parabas open titles in 2004,05,06. He is currently ranked #3 in men’s singles. This is 73rd career title.

Other tennis to watch is the doubles matches. The play is fast and so are the players. The men’s doubles were played on Sunday after the singles matches. John Isner had little time to rest before he and his partner Sam Querry took on Marc Lopez and Rafael Nadal. Lopez and Nadal took the title. The women’s doubles match was won by Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond.

Watching tennis is not the only thing to do at the Tennis Gardens. Vendors surround the area. There is a food court and a tented garden to sit and eat. Autograph sessions, Tennis commentators, Style shows, Fitness center, and chances on prizes are only a few of the ammentities at the tournament. Bands play during evening sessions. A Wheelchair tennis exhibition tournament is a real treat to see how really good they are. Main stadium sponsors all kinds of prizes during the tournaments. On the Big Screen there is the Kiss Cam and then there are lucky winners of Bulova watches, t-shirts and autographed tennis balls.

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