Sunday, March 10, 2013

20 Random Thoughts After Three Days At Indian Wells

As I sit here watching Sloane Stephens and Urszula Radwanska in the final match of the day, my mind is racing with several thoughts, questions, and observations from three exciting days out here at the 2013 BNP Paribas Open.

And since I just so happen to have a laptop in my lap, I might as well jot them all down for you, the readers, here on The Outer Courts.

Here are 20 completely random thoughts on this Saturday night in Indian Wells, California...

1.)  It's beautiful out here.

I've mentioned that a couple times already and nothing has changed.  I'm still staring at the mountains and taking in the scenery like it's my last day on Earth.

2.)  The time change is hard on a Kentuckian.

I have been in bed before midnight and up at 7:00 a.m. for three straight days out here in California.  That is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, like my sleep schedule back in the bluegrass. 

There are very few things that would get me up and out of bed at 7:00 a.m. back home. Maybe a flight to Las Vegas or a Waffle House breakfast date with Kate Upton, but that's about it.

3.)  Everyone seems to love Indian Wells.

It's hard to find anyone out here who can name a better tournament in the world than the BNP Paribas Open. The four Grand Slam tournaments will always be the headliners, obviously, but everyone seems to love coming out here for the Masters 1000 event.

If I could go back to my senior year at Madisonville North-Hopkins High School, I would've taken that match against Union County a little more seriously and, who knows, maybe it would've turned into a career on the ATP tour and a stop out here in Indian Wells.

Kidding, of course.  I had a better shot at earning a seat in Parliament than I did going anywhere with a tennis racquet.

4.) Am I hot?  Or am I cold?

I can't make up my mind.  It's a good thing I spent $250 in the gift shop as soon as we entered the gate on our first day.

My family is going to love their gifts once I get everything dry cleaned and tape the tags back on.

5.)  Those massages in the media room look inviting.

Tennis Channel, you picking up the tab on those?

I'll keep the receipts, just in case.

6.)  Stadium court is an incredible sporting venue.

The stadium court seats as many as 16,100 people to watch a single tennis match, and it's currently looking pretty full here on the first Saturday night of the tournament.

Check out this poor attempt at an iPhone panorama shot from my seat...

7.)  To me, it's Ivo Karlovic and then everyone else.

You can have your Rafael Nadals, Novak Djokovics and Roger Federers, I'm sticking by my man Ivo Karlovic.

If this were NBA basketball in the 90s, Ivo would be my Michael Jordan.

8.)  Players always roll with an entourage.

For every tennis player walking from the practice courts to the lounge, there is a Turtle, Eric, Ari, and a Johnny Drama walking two steps behind.

That has to get expensive for the lower-ranked players, right?  They must be bleeding money.

9.)  The cafeteria has some of the best food in Riverside County.

Well done, Indian Wells Tennis Garden.  Well done.

10.)  A 16-year-old girl picked out the music for stadium court.

And I refuse to believe otherwise.

11.)  Rafael Nadal gets more women than me.

I can't confirm that because I don't know anything about his private life, but the girls do a lot more screaming in his direction than they do when I walk by with two glazed donuts and a Diet Coke.

He must have a good personality or something.

12.)  Roger Federer couldn't be nicer.

As Matt wrote in a post below this one, Federer made a brief appearance on the Kentucky basketball postgame show via cell phone while eating lunch before his match Saturday afternoon.

He could've easily told us to get lost, but he was nice enough to say a few words and it made a lot of people happy back home.  That audio clip will get played over and over again from now until the end of time. 

13.)  Can a blogger get some electricity in the media room?

There are seven-billion windmills generating enough energy to power Rafa's SlenderTone electric ab belt for eternity, but there are media members fighting over the two or three outlets along the wall in the media room.

Don't they realize I can't post to Instagram with a dead cell phone????

14.)  I don't understand why fans break out into a slow clap during challenges.

I hate to ruin a good thing, and it is a good thing, but someone should really tell them their applause has no effect on whether or not the ball was in or out.

And how accurate is that fancy ball-tracking contraption?  Until I see lasers along the baseline, I refuse to believe the animated replay.

15.)  Southern California loves a good Stater Brothers.

We're still not exactly sure what a Stater Brothers is or who the Stater Brothers are, but they seem to be on every corner out here.

16.)  America is struggling.

We've seen John Isner, Jack Sock, and Ryan Harrison go down to foreign players in two days of action.

So much for breaking out that American flag body suit next week.

17.)  I couldn't return one of these serves if my life depended on it.

That would be a bizarre scenario if my life ever depended on returning a serve, but I'm certain I wouldn't stand a chance.

The ball moves a lot faster than it's shown on television.

18.)  Someone please tell Landon Donovan where to find Justin Gimelstob.

America's favorite soccer player stopped me earlier today and asked if I knew where he could find Justin Gimelstob.  I wanted to help -- it's the least I could do for him after all he's done for me -- but all I could think about was the YouTube video of celebrations from around the country after his goal in the 2010 World Cup.  So, instead of helping him find out where he needed to be, I stuttered and mumbled something that wasn't even English under my breath.

Way to go, Franklin.

19.)  That guy from LMFAO is really that guy from LMFAO.

Redfoo is running around Indian Wells dressed the same way we see him in music videos.  I've always wondered what he's like out of character, now I know he's never in character.  That's just him.

Sorry for party rockin', I suppose.

20.)  I think I'm cold.

Yeah, right now I'm cold.  This is so confusing.  I'm going to put Dad's Father's Day present back on and head inside.

See you back here Sunday morning.