BNP Paribas Open

The Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells this year has a new name, BNP Paribas Open.  BNP Paribas sponsors the French Open.  Sign of the times – a French bank is now the sponsor of  the 2nd largest tennis tournament in the US (5th largest in the world) – they own several banks in the US including First Hawaiian Bank.

Again the best place to be was the practice courts as opposed to nose-bleed seats in the stadium. While Andy Murray was practicing, and Safina on the adjacent court – Federer comes on the court for his practice:

I was surprised how tall Safina is and how big her brother, Safin is:

Seeing these top players hit the ball up close is such a different experience from watching it on TV.  TV just doesn’t capture how smooth, hard, solidly and with kick these players hit the ball.  Especially Federer – its amazing how smooth he is.  Its quite an experience.  Didn’t get to see Nadal this year, but I saw him up close last year and his ball is unreal.

Sharapova was recovering from an injury and was playing doubles only in the tournament.

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