Sunday, March 17, 2013


The BNP Paribas is a hard court tournament in sunny Indian Wells, California.

the arena
The Women's Final~

Sharapova versus Wozniacki, who will be the victor?

How did Maria win the first set? Hitting the ball EARLY, getting Caroline out of posiition, and serving strong with 4 aces in the first set.  And, not giving up: Maria was down 5-30 in the game at 5-2, and came back to win this last game for a first set 6-2.  It's tough to come back at 5-40, BUT if you get that next point, you are at 30-40, not a bad spot to be in afterall!

Tennis is a rewarding game, there are more positives than negatives built in the scoring system that allow a player to progress, even when not playing up to maximum ability.  

Let's look at the score of 5-40 some more.  When you are serving at that score, let's admit it, every player feels in a true no man's land, the game is very far away from winning!

But, somehow the clouds clear when you get that next point.  It is only one point! And suddenly, you are back in the game, you have a real chance of winning now, as long as you stay steady and give the game a chance.  This is where I think the game of tennis truly is the third person on the court.  The game has a built in system of opportunities and reward, hence perhaps the words 'advantage.'

The goal is to win, and Maria looks strong and a great player.  Physical presence is so true  to getting to teh win and challenging your self to the best you can be.

Gamble and be more aggressive, get to the net, have a bigger forehand, be aggressive when need be.

That is what I see with Maria's early hitting, not each shot is hit early, but when the opportunity presents itself, there is the EARLY shot.

Maria is clearly dominating, taking each point as quality, Maria is slamming that ball from the service line, incredible!  Wozniacki has no choice but to stand there. 

3-2, Maria leading serving now.  How not to let the mind slip at this point in the game? So many players tell me this, and I too fall victim to the wandering mind during a set, especially the second set. Maria gets her opponent out of position just a bit, then goes for the kill. Movement matters.  Forehand winner up the line for Maria.  Not too many long rallies, but Maria gets her way even then. Now 4-2.

Wozniacki serving, how to hold on? A lot of running here, then Wozniacki nets the ball. A few inches off her balance, that's all it takes!  0-15. Now 0-30. This is pressure. great serve now, go Caroline! 15-30. 15-40, here we are again. Can Caroline dig out? 30-40 now, wide shot from Maria.  Deuce! Ad In. Deuce again! These are two tough young women! Wozniacki on her knees. Ad out. Deuce. Ad In. It is hard to close.  Hits out! Wozniacki is out of position. Deuce. Ad out. Weak return. 

N.B.: when nervous, hit up middle- not happening here.  

Caroline hits out again, game Maria 5-2 now.

Maria blasts first serves. 30-0.  Has Wozniacki on the run. Again. match point now.

Closes out ' in style.' A dominant performance!  Marias's second trophy for her at Indian Wells. 6-2, 6-2.

Serves, big forehand. All went Maria's way!  Did not drop a set in this tournament. 


The Men's Final ~

 Raphael Nadal versus Juan Martin Del Potro today.

Rafa in bright green, Happy St. Patrick's Day! ♣

Nadal has won 21 Masters ATP titles, matching our friend Roger Federer.

I have seen Del Potro play, he is a very large, 6' 7" strong young man from Argentina.  Same country as our new Pope Francis!

Del Potro I predict will play well, but will be tired out as he had a tight match against my other favorite Djokovic. 2 hours 50 minutes yesterday. Also, Nadal is a huge champion, very tough to defeat. He is all boy, strong, temperamental, very cute!!

Okay, Del Potro just donned the green wrist bands ♣

Nadal serves for the start. 15-0. Drags del Potro out of position. Great passing shot Del Potro. 15-30. Nadal hitting side to side, but Del Potro retrieves well. He is a contender!
it's deuce.  They are hitting the ball high with topspin. Nadal hits earlier more than Del Potro. Nadal has a wide second serve, holds serve. Nadal breaks Del Potro who has the expression he wants to win but if he does not, hopefully it won't be a low score.  The ugh-oh moment in the match when as a player you know it is going to be tough out there. Period. Survival plus saving face. "A tough dig here,' the commentator says. 3-0, Nadal.

Del Potro shoots an ace.  Even one great point helps, as I said earlier here, tennis is a forgiving game, that likes to give you points and advantage. Deuce. Now Ad In. Now after cornering Nadal Del Potro hits early and down the line. Game Del Potro.  Great set up, you are in the game at 1-3.

Del Potro is playing better  now, his set up is better, earlier returns. His movement confident.

Nadal has deft little feet, they move quickly! But missed a crucial, tough shot. 0-40. Now, DP hits a great inside out forehand for a short cross court shot. Game, Del Potro!  Back on serve, too! 2-3, and serving now. You want the slight breeze coming from behind you for the bounce off the court when serving. 3-3 now, Nadal serving. 4-3.

The green umbrellas, shirts, hats, green ball kids, headbands, green Nike swoosh, and dots of green in the crowd is all so pretty, It is fun to see all these young players and fans celebrate St. Patrick.

Del Potro serving with the breeze again. 125 mph. 15-0, 30-0. 40-0. 4-4.

What is Nadal thinking now? His feet are moving in short, little steps, 0-15. Fault.  0-30, using the slice and giving the BH plenty of edge. 15-30. 15-40. Too many net shots. Nadal hits long. 4-5 now, the tables have turned for Nadal. 

Momentum shift from Nadal to Del Potro.  Serving for the set now. 49 minutes. 15-0.  30-0. Nadal nets again. 40-0. 40-5, nice down the line shot. fault. Nice cross court, lots of twisting here. 40-30. Nadal is back in the game. Opportunity. Great volleys by both, Nadal hustles but not enough, Del Potro reacts with finesse. 

Set 1 goes to Del Potro 6-4. Great fighter, a true gladiator.

Nadal serving to open the second set. Mis-fired forehands on Nadal's part. Maybe serve up the middle? Del Potro is waiting for the wide serve, a good read that one DP! Breaks Nadal!

Del Potro serving. Does he still have that breeze favoring him? 15-0. I wonder if he's tiring, though. 15-15. Move to recover from your shot, no stopping after you hit! 30-30. 30-40, Nadal has an advantage to get back on serve now. Deuce. Ad DP, wins, 2-0 now. Nadal is making a lot of unforced errors, in 'bunches' in the second set.

Nadal serving. Wins! On the board! 1-2 now.

Del Potro serving, nets a shot. faults serve, second okay. Nadal is hopping high! 15-15, now 30-15. Tough to get around this serve. 40-15. Nadal is out of his comfort zone. Ace. 3-1.

Nadal serving. 0-15. Nice rally, then Nadal gets point with a fantastic inside out forehand short cross court. 15-15. 30-15. 40-15. Nadal has to be a quick little bee out there, Del Potro has a fabulous reach and moves his feet, too!  Nadal holds. 2-3.

Del Potro serving, Is getting every point! Touch on the run! Commentator Brad Gilbert: great road work from Del Po! double fault. 15-30. Mis-fires an inside out dtl forehand. 30-30. Turnaround now? Gorgeous hold volley for DP still break point. Nadal does his genius~ 3-3 now! DP is distracted from a former point, stay in the moment!

Nadal serving, he smells blood. Dueling gladiators now. 30-0. Nadal has momentum. DP is agitated. 40-0. 40-5. Nadal wins, has the lead in the second set! 4-3.

Del Potro serving now. What happens next?? Nadal breaks DP! One double fault is punishing, the opposite of tennis reward, instead tennis punishment. 5-3.

Momentum change to Nadal!  30-0! 40-0. ACE!  What a finish!  

Set 2 goes to Nadal, 6-3.

DP is serving. 15-15 now.  I still say DP is getting tired, but his shot ability is great, to help him he needs tennis reward with an ace! Let's see. 15-30. Nadal has him running with punishing cross court shots. 15-40. 30-40, lucky on a miss-hit. Down the line shot, deuce now. Ad Del Potro. Oh no, a miss. Deuce. Misses first serve. Let. Serves wide and Nadal returns even wider + out. Ad Del Potro. great passing shot of Nadal. Deuce. Ad Nadal, 'moving like a cat.'  Del Potro breathing heavily. Deuce. Advantage Del Potro. Finally closes and holds his service game. Whew!

Nadal up for serve now. 15-0. 30-0. 40-0. ACE! *Nadal delivers when it matters.

Del Potro serving, 15-0. What a beautiful shot from Nadal, 15-15. 15-30. 15-40. Game Nadal, with a down the line inside out forehand.  2-1, Nadal.

Nadal serving.  0-15. 15-30 now. A fearsome score at 15-30 this is where tennis is tough. 30-30. Whew! Faults first serve. Safe second, 40-30. **This is where Nadal delivers~ serves hard and wide, Del Potro nets. 3-1, Nadal.

Del Potro serving, 30-0. 40-0, game with a few aces. Aces come in handy!

At 3-2, Nadal is serving now. he is perfection, so strong, dictating the ball at the baseline, then a powerful overhead to pound and put-away. 30-0 now. Nadal wants this over with now. You can see that he is resolute and closing. 40-0. Second serve. To the T, Del Potro's backhand, nets, game Nadal. 4-2.

Del Potro serves, how do you think he's doing? he is playing remarkably well, but Nadal wants to win. He is focused. Del Potro 30-0. 30-15. 40-15, now holds serve. 3-4.

Nadal serving, 2 hours 14 minutes so far. Fault. Easier second serve. Rally. 15-0. Nadal is shortening the ball and forehand down the line. Tough time at the net, great road work for Nadal, perfect passing shot.  30-0. Ace, 40-0. ***ACE to the T!  Nadal delivers when it counts!

Del Potro at serve. 0-15. 0-30. 0-40, Del Potro's legs are weakening. Great down the line shot by Nadal. 15-40.  Still in that punishing hole.  30-40. A small reward for continuing the game. evening up now. Deuce!  Ad in, Del Potro!  The tennis muses have favored you in this game! Let serve. Fault. Wow, Del Potro wins this game! great net play by both players! 

Nadal 5-4. Green shoelaces, too!  Okay, both gladiators return to the ring. Here we go. Blasts a first serve, strong rally Del Potro nets.  15-0. 15-15, tight forehand.  30-15. Nadal has a great inside out forehand shot. Fault. Serves to the middle. Rally. A challenge ball is okay at baseline. Championship point. 40-15. Rally, Del Potro returns wide.

Nadal wins!!!

He is back in the Winner's Circle!!!  Nadal is so cute, hopping in the crowd, smiling wide.  Del Potro played so well, so many momentum changes.


Nadal has won 22 Masters titles now, leading the pack! Cannot wait for Roland Garros!!

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