Magic in the Desert

BNP Paribas Tennis Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden

For the last ten years or so, D and I have followed professional tennis when the big four grand slams take place: Australian, French, English, and US Open. We were both familiar with the tennis connection to Indian Wells as it is fondly thought of as the fifth grand slam. Many television commentators mention how everyone enjoys the venue nestled into the Coachella Valley with a backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains. It is also home to the second largest tennis stadium in the world. Well, it just so happens that it takes place over two weeks every March and we were staying only 15 minutes away!

During the first week of play, we stopped in for a day to get the lay of the land, watch a few practice games and the beginning of qualification rounds. Unfortunately, Mother Nature raised the temperatures in the Coachella Valley to unseasonable highs. I guess we must be careful what we wish for in our search for sun. After a week of 70s the temps zoomed passed the 80s, and soared into record breaking 90s – not exactly pleasant temps to sit and watch tennis in stadiums with limited shade! Ah, but the DaMClarks persevered.

During the second week of play, we kept track of who was advancing and when they were playing. On Tuesday afternoon, we saw that three of the top men’s singles players (Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal) would be playing the next day. We snagged senior discounted tickets online, noting where we might find the most shade. We scored bigtime paying 30% off the $100 per ticket price and we were very happy with our mostly shaded seats. It was exciting watching three of the top tennis players of all time. Looking back at the schedule of play after the finals, Wednesday was the primo day to be there. Indian Wells Tennis Garden was a lovely and efficient venue: $20 per day parking, an abundance of employees to assist you in whatever you may need, beautiful grounds layout with plenty of seats in the shade, large and clean restrooms, numerous restaurants and bars, and free filtered water dispensers. It all added up to a magical experience.

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