No way around it: Serena Williams' return to Indian Wells, her first foray in the desert event since 2001 due to her boycott, is the story of this week, and on social media.
If Sam Querrey's celebrity crush is Taylor Swift, Eugenie Bouchard one-upped him by bonding with Justin Bieber, her own famous would-be flame, at Will Ferrell's Desert Smash charity event. Also pictured: Bieber's fellow little guy, comedian Kevin Hart. (Daniela Hantuchova, Fernando Verdasco, and more stars of sport and screen also played in.)
Caption this, Indian Wells edition. pic.twitter.com/fg3FThmAHR— Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) March 11, 2015
Never one to be outdone, Caroline Wozniacki staged her own photo-op with the recently-roasted pop star. And well done on that hashtag: #beliebit.
Wozniacki addressed her positive 2015 results during a media-access session (which often feels like speed-dating), but Agnieszka Radwanska didn't see it the same way:
At all-access hour, Caroline Wozniacki talks about how well her year is going, and Radwanska walks behind her and yells "SHE'S LYING!!!"— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) March 11, 2015
Madison Keys fell on the short end of a wager with Ryan Harrison, hence she sported some new (dude) threads:
Harrison himself had some friendly fire to wage in the first round, drawing compatriot, sentimental favorite, and sometimes practice partner Mardy Fish.
The 22-year-old made it a short-lived return for his 33-year-old countryman—despite Mardy earning match points—and with a bit of flair.
Fish wasn't to be denied, though: Aside from Serena's return to this tournament, his is the feel-good story of a significant time in tennis.
Blown away by the reception. Thank you Indian Wells and thank you Twitter friends.— Mardy Fish (@MardyFish) March 13, 2015
And he welcomed back another player who's been away from the tour much too often in the past year and a half: Juan Martin del Potro.
Meanwhile, it wasn't all coming up roses for another American, the stalwart Michael Russell, who bowed out early in his final Indian Wells appearance:
Dig the angle of this shot via Rafael Nadal. That alone bears a mention here.
Practicing in California under the warm sun…and among its warm people!! :) pic.twitter.com/weJuDTK8k2— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) March 13, 2015
A seriously 'lagged Samantha Stosur revealed that, as we all know, life as a globe-trotting tennis player is not always a super-sexy thing.
You know you're #jetlagged when you try to get into your hotel room but find it isn't yours, not to meantion not even the same building!— Samantha Stosur (@bambamsam30) March 10, 2015
Wry art scribe and tennis observer Tyler Green took the BNP Paribas Open's seemingly innocuous post to another level. (For context, this.)
Was that a tennis tweet or a #MatchmakerMillionaire tweet?— Tyler Green (@TylerGreenDC) March 11, 2015
Roger Federer spoke to his own facial hair, or lack thereof, in another patented #AskRF Q&A with fans. And then he ribbed Andy Murray, himself conducting some #AskAM repartee, to hilarious effect about the follicles adorning the Brit's dome.
@andy_murray It's all about the hair Andy, we both know that— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) March 12, 2015
In closing, Maria Sharapova revealed that she will soon return to Fed Cup play to help Russia pursue its fourth title in that team competition:
Russia's Fed Cup semifinal tie against two-time winner Germany starts April 18 in Sochi, with a wink to Sharapova's Olympic torch-toting duties at the start of those 2014 Games just 13 months ago.
Got a tip or a point to make? Hit me on Twitter at @jonscott9.