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.