NEWS: ‘Fifth slam’ Indian Wells delivers again

It was one of those weekends, a sporting bonanza across multiple competitions involving your favourites. The kind that you look forward to all week.

Now just because things really didn’t go my way doesn’t mean I should get any sympathy, when you support such successes as the England rugby team, Manchester United, Scuderia Ferrari and Roger Federer then you have tasted victory more times than anyone else.

Still, it’s funny sometimes how fate can deal you an ‘all or nothing’ mentality- this weekend it was emphatically zilch.

Anyway, to the tennis and the culmination of another thrilling installment of the first premier event of the year down in the desert.

Drama ensued throughou with Serena, Zverev and others’ mystery illnesses, the ATP off-court politics testing the Big 3’s relationship and -sadly- another chapter in the Fedal rivalry denied by the Spaniard’s brittle knees.

Then there was the tennis itself. We had mouthwatering match-up from the off including Serena Vs Azarenka and Wawrinka Vs Federer to name but two.

The oldies had a blast as Kohlschreiber ousted Kyrgios and Djokovic, evergreen Venus overcame Petkovic and Kvitova and Ivo Karlovic after turning 40 is still competing against the very best, dumping out Coric a man 18 years his junior.

But in a continuing trend of 2019, the current and new generation are slowly but surely coming good.

Of the more established names, Belinda Bencic had a great run to the semi’s defeating defending champ Osaka and Pliskova en route and of course Dominic Thiem who sealed his first 1000 Masters title with a stirring comeback victory over an increasingly error-prone Federer last night.

But even the Austrian’s superb fortnight was overshadowed by Bianca Andreescu, the 18 year old Canadian who took the title yesterday after wins over Begu, Cibulkova, Wang, Muguruza (6-0, 6-1 by the way), Svitolina and Kerber. What a roster!

I’ll leave the permutations as to exactly what these results mean to the state of both tours for another post, for now I just want to revel in another dependably dramatic tournament in the desert.

A final final word though for Amazon Prime’s coverage of the men’s tournament which is polished and insightful, I’m biased of course but Rusedski and Hantuchova make a great pairing with spot-on analysis and interesting features clearly honed for the tennis purists.

Roll on Miami.


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