A Pictorial Look at Indian Wells
Slogging through the wettest Northwest winter on record, I was desperate
for an escape. Having been a regular summer tournament-goer for the
last two years, I decided that that the Newsweek Champions Cup at Indian
Wells, California would be the perfect way to escape the rain for a while.
The occasion also marked my baptism by fire as a media representative.
Having no idea where I was or what to do, I simple slung my camera bag
over my shoulder, and put on my "journalist’s face" and walked into the
media building, trying my best to look cool.
With credentials in hand, I set out looking for some of the behind-the
scenes-action. My friends showed me the area called "Grand Central",
the area in between the practice courts and the Hyatt Hotel, where most
players stay during the tournament. Grand Central turned out to be
an interesting spot indeed, with players and coaches walking back and forth
to the courts, and autograph seekers keeping a keen eye for their favorites.
My first day saw the upset of the tournament, with 16th ranked Serena Williams
knocking out top-ranked and world #2 Lindsay Davenport. Williams played
fearlessly, and showed what a heavy hitter she was, blasting winners past
the former #1 ranked Davenport.
The next day didn’t see such a surprising upset. I noticed a throng of
people at one practice court, and found the Russian teenager Anna Kournikova
practicing. On another court, two young teenage boys were marveling at
Conchita Martinez’ backhand. Martinez look up, smiled and said,
"Good morning, how are you?". By
Sunday, some of the men arrived and were headed to the practice courts.
Carlos Moya, Alex Corretja, Marcelo Rios, and Mark Philippoussis
brought out droves of admirers and the usual autograph seekers.
Over at the Hyatt’s pool area, Maria Antonia Sanchez Lorenzo held a photo
op. Looking a little awkward at first, Sanchez Lorenzo was quite
a sport and very gracious about the whole shoot, as photographers shoved
and bickered over lighting, backdrops, and position.
Maria Antonio Sanchez Lorenzo
Like all good things that come to an end, so did my weekend. Standing at
the gate at the Palm Springs airport, I was accompanied by a chorus of
groans and we reluctantly boarded the plane. "Back to the rain!"
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