Thrills and spills, big wins and surprise losses, seeds falling and new faces shining. Indian Wells has lived up to its billing as one of the biggest and best tennis events in the tennis calendar.
The venue is stunning, the crowds are huge, and the tournament began with a near-full complement of players—give or take the Williams sisters’ usual boycott and Juan Martin Del Potro’s injury.
It even attracted the very best of both current and past players in the tastiest exhibition night in living memory.
As if Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal facing Pete Sampras and Roger Federer wasn’t enough, the Hit for Haiti scheduled Steffi Graf and Lindsay Davenport against Martina Navratilova and Justine Henin. Tennis courts don’t come more laden with star quality.
Even the Indian Wells draw looked set to deliver up everyone’s favorite matches during the last few days.
There was the tantalizing prospect of Nikolay Davydenko outhitting Nadal for the fourth consecutive time in as many months.
There was a chance that Andy Murray could seek revenge over Federer for his Australian Open defeat.
Best of all, there was the prospect—should the cards fall right—of two mouth-watering finals: Nadal against Federer and Kim Clijsters again Henin.
It soon became clear that we should not count our chickens before they are hatched. But while some of the anticipated fireworks turned into damp squibs, there were also bangers and sparklers aplenty to keep everyone on the edges of their seats.