Monday, March 11, 2013

A Rocky Start to Our Indian Wells Morning

Today is going to be a wonderful day at Indian Wells, with a number of the world's best players in action. Roger, Berdych and Azarenka all take the court, along with a doubles match featuring the Bryan Brothers versus the big hitting duo of John Isner and Sam Querrey. But as excited as I am about the on-the-court tennis, the action really got started much earlier this morning as an earthquake hit the Palm Springs area and shook up my early routine.  Now I understand that earthquakes are a way of life for folks on the West Coast, and a 5.1 shake on the Richter Scale is something that barely causes a yawn for those on the left side of the country. Fair enough. But I come from Kentucky, where we prefer our ground stable and our morning filled with basketball highlights, not seismic activity. And just as I wouldn't mock you if you were in the Bluegrass and came trembling with fear at the sight of a top-flight thoroughbred racing at you on the farm, you shouldn't make light of my first real earthquake experience. In all actuality, while not terrifying, it was slightly disconcerting. When you are sitting in your hotel room, enjoying an early morning beverage (in my case a refreshing Diet Cherry Coke Zero) and all of a sudden it feels as if you are lying on a waterbed with Wynonna Judd practicing her rumba for "Dancing With the Stars," it can throw you off your game. Having the ground shake beneath your feet was unlike anything I have ever felt before and I reacted as any other person going on Twitter and trying to discover what happened.

Twitter of course blew up with people all sharing their earthquake experience and sending the same basic message ("OMG...was that an earthquake?....BRB, an earthquake...Earthquake smh, what will my girlies say?...BEIBER!!!!), and it confirmed that the ground had shaken beneath my feet. With the quake only registering at 5.1 on the Richter Scale, I was able to feel confident that no one was hurt and without such turmoil, I could then brag to my friends about my first truly West Coast experience (I have already purchased my "I survived the March, 2013 Palm Springs Quake!" t-shirt). However the difficulty outside of the stadium was nothing compared to what we discovered inside, as an announcement has just taken place that Rafael Nadal will not be playing Leonardo Mayer, as Mayer has been injured and has withdrawn.  The crowd was understandably unhappy, although not quite as frustrated as Drew who had just completed a "Know Your Underdog" post on Mayer mere moments before the announcement was made.  The Indian Wells organizers and fans are understandably disappointed (everyone loves a little Rafa), but they are replacing the Stadium One action with a doubles match involving James Blake and Mardy Fish.

So overall, not the morning we expected. But as Carl Spackler once said in a similar moment, "in the immortal words of Jean Paul-Sartre, 'Au revoir Leonardo Mayer.'  Already we have survived seismic activity and the loss of a chance to see a world icon.  It only can go up from here.