I live about three hours from the upcoming Indian Wells tournament and am lucky to be able to attend for a few days every year (leaving Friday, whoo hoo!) So I was especially interested to read this article in the LA Times about how the tanking economy has changed things for the worse – and yes – the better. ’08 IW finalist, Mardy Fish, explains:
U.S. player Mardy Fish, who turned his career around at this event last year, coming in ranked No. 98 and beating Federer on the way to the final, acknowledges keeping his sport desirable and in perspective in this economy is not just the job of tournament officials.
“Players are extremely lucky,” he says. “Our office is in the sun. We are our own boss.”
He says he has noticed slightly smaller crowds at tournaments and says many of the top players will respond as best they can.
“The Americans know, Andy Roddick and James Blake,” he says, “and so do Roger and Rafa. It’s time to stand and sign, rather than sign and walk and sign a few more and walk.”
Still, these are tricky days for sports events.
One suite-holder, a major bank, will use its suite and probably entertain. But it has asked that its name be taken off the door.
Yikes! So the players “stand and sign” and the banks just get rid of signs all together. Scary times to be a tennis fan. Click here to read the full article.
Mardy S&Sin’ Photo: by Elsa/Getty Images