Indian Wells, In Photos

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 /by

INDIAN WELLS, CALIF.—The BNP Paribas Open is over and the traveling tennis carnival has moved on. The lobby of the Holiday Inn here was filled with luggage this morning. I'll wrap it up with a look back in photos and captions. The event, held on a site built for a professional tennis tournament, with unlimited space, is ideal for picture taking and player watching. There seem to be no walls here—you see the pros eat, stretch, kick soccer balls, practice, and play doubles together on small side courts. Here's a taste of what we saw at Indian Wells in 2013.

(Photographs by Anita Aguilar)

—The trip to Indian Wells begins when you fly into the small Palm Springs airport. The city is a trove of historic mid-century modernist architecture. This is the old Tramway Gas Station, designed in 1965 by Albert Frey and Robson C. Chambers. It now serves as the Palm Springs Visitor Center.

—Perhaps only Palm Springs has a Bank of America made to look like a church by Le Corbusier, and a Chase branch (shown here) with inverted arches designed by E. Stewart Williams.

—A few miles down the road, at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, you can see an echo of the horizontal desert modern style in the stadium designs.

—A skinny Ana Ivanovic sparkled in yellow as she worked out before the tournament began.

—Old friends and doubles partners Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta shared a laugh after a first-week practice.

—The players ease into their days with light stretching and soccer on the site's lawn. Andy Murray does his exercises with a grin.

—Things are are so relaxed that even Tomas Berdych can be caught with his lips upturned (I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and call that a smile...)

—Doubles partners Benoit Paire of France and Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland were virtually inseparable. They even spent their evenings together playing a Big Buck Hunter video game at a sports bar down the road.

—Juan Martin del Potro has become a fan favorite here. This is what all of his early practices looked like.

—Rafael Nadal kept his eyes on the ball, even as listened to another piece of advice from coach Francisco Roig.

—And the Lord gave us this land and said...kick a soccer ball around on it?

—Every tennis player knows what Su-Wei Hsieh is feeling here. Notice her good hands: Even when she gets upset, the ball stays glued to her strings.

—I came away from Indian Wells a fan of Jamie “I’m Totally Boring” Hampton. Here she is in the trophy serving position...

—...and here she is in mid fist-pump. She’s not as dull as she thinks.

—Side-court doubles is a big part of the Indian Wells experience, and seeing new, unlikely teams get together is part of the fun. Here, Feliciano Lopez gets partner Milos Raonic fired up with a "punch bug" punch to the shoulder.

—Feli and Milos in action.

—The late afternoon sun hits Stadium 2. Think there was a Serb playing that day?

—It’s not all fun in the sun. Fernando Verdasco lost so badly in his opener that he apologized on Twitter and went back out for a lonely evening practice.

—The ball boys and girls took some flak from players for being slow, but many of them are younger here than the kids (and adults) you see at the Grand Slams. They do their best.

—Finding cover from the sun is key to life in the desert. This woman came prepared with a cool-looking umbrella...

—...while this man in Dominika Cibulkova’s camp went with whatever he could find in the locker room.

—Alexandr Dolgopolov went out early, but not before he showed off his rubber-band man routine.

—There’s architecture, and then there’s...this.

—Agnieszka Radwanska on the hunt for a tennis ball...

—...and doing what only she can do. Aga plays tennis the way a goalie plays hockey. She doesn’t hit the ball so much as fend it off.

—The media story of the tournament was Rafael Nadal, but the bigger tennis story may have been the man that Rafa beat in the finals, Juan Martin del Potro. He took out Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic and had Nadal on the ropes for two sets.

—Ernests Gulbis’ new forehand may or may not be effective, but it makes for an interesting visual.

—Ana Ivanovic tries to follow the yellow ball, and not the yellow sun in front of her.

—Bob Bryan says a quick thanks to the man above.

—Prayers answered: The Bryans, who have been coming to the tournament since they were 8 years old, won their first title at Indian Wells.

—Knee tape or not, Maria Kirilenko remains the most graceful of tennis players.

—Superfans wait at the gates of the player/media center. Not for the media...

—Not every shot was a winner from Rafa this week.

—"Can we win this set? What time does In-N-Out Burger close again?"

—Rafael Nadal says he feels at home in Indian Wells, and his service motion certainly fits with the swoop of the shadows here.

—Maria Sharapova, fist finally unclenched, celebrates another title.

—The pros are gone, but the lights at the Tennis Garden will wait until next year.

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