Hi all! We’ve arrived in the land of golf visors and prime rib specials and are looking forward to a spectacular day of tennis at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Which means that we won’t be watching Federer vs. Giquel in the vertigo-inducing main stadium, but hanging out at the side courts watching the supporting players work their magic. A glance at Saturday’s order of play reveals some intriguing matchups:
Gasquet vs. Llodra in an all Frenchie flair-fest.
Gabashvili vs. Tsonga – don’t know much about the Russian, but I’d watch Tsonga play Norm Chryst if I had to.
Hewitt vs. Gonzalez – might as well catch both of these guys in action before they retire on us.
Bellucci vs. Verdasco – it’s not exactly the Aussie Open semifinals, but I want to see if Fernando’s game is still hot.
Mirza vs. Pennetta – Mirza’s been training in Las Vegas lately, and I’ll be curious to see how she stands up to the consistent Italian.
Barrois vs. Cornet – no idea who Barrois is, but I want to see Cornet hit live.
Paszek vs. Kleybanova – this should be a good contest. And I have to see Kleybanova’s funky-ass strokes up close.
Andreev vs. Gulbis – along with Hewitt vs. Gonzo, this is probably going to be the hardest fought men’s match of the day. And I should catch Gulbis now, before he becomes too “big” for the side courts.
Ljubicic vs. Ancic – heck, they’re both great players and they’re playing on a teeny-tiny court. Let’s just hope I don’t get my teeth knocked out by an errant serve.
Bethanie Mattek-Sand/Mashona Washington vs. Kuznetsova/Mauresmo – first of all, I missed Bethanie’s marriage announcement – click here to read about her new hubby (who gave her a 5.5 carat engagement ring – wonder if she’ll wear that monster on court?). Second of all, this should be a really fun doubles match.
Simon Aspelin/Jamie Murray vs. Del Potro/ Nalbandian – Good doubles players in Murray and Aspelin and an interesting pairing of the two Argentines – I thought they hated each other after last year’s Davis Cup final. Will Nalbandian “accidently” serve a ball into del Potro’s butt? Count on GTT to get the scoop on this and much more from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden!
Besides match updates and exclusive photos here at GTT, look out for my tournament review over at wonder-blog Down the Line on Monday.
Photo: REUTERS/Michael Fiala