By Jennifer Knapp
(March 13, 2013) INDIAN WELLS, California – After such an exciting day of doubles on Saturday I continued my quest to make it to as many ATP doubles matches at this year’s BNP Paribas Open as possible and thankfully, both Monday and schedule made it much easier to achieve my objective as I took in another exciting matches.
On Monday, the first match I watched was James Blake and Mardy Fish taking on Feliciano López and Milos Raonic. The match, originally scheduled for the 2200 seat Court 7, was moved into the main stadium shortly after the news of Leonardo Mayer’s withdrawal due to back injury and Rafael Nadal’s walkover victory. Needless to say, fans numbered 2201 and above were as the stadium was easily three-quarters full with a lively and primarily pro-USA crowd. While Blake and Fish were equally as strong and in sync as they had been in their previous match, López and Raonic were not. It was López’s serve that was broken in each set but Raonic’s unforced errors contributed to each of the breaks. Blake and Fish gave the crowd what they wanted as they advanced to the next round 6-3, 6-2 when López defaulted on match point.
A few hours later is was time for the next match on my agenda – number one seeds Bob and Mike Bryan versus friends and Davis Cup teammates, John Isner and Sam Querrey. There was very little chance that this wouldn’t be a very exciting match and needless to say, there was an empty seat in the house, in fact, the lines outside the stands were the longest I’ve seen so far this week. Interesting statistic about the Bryan’s Brothers and their record in the desert: despite all of their success in other tournaments, including slams and the Olympics, they have never won the BNP Paribas Doubles’ title, making the finals only twice in the past 10 years (2003 & 2006). Isner and Querrey made the final last year, losing to Marc López & Rafael Nadal. The entire match was filled with amazing shot making and entertaining interaction amongst the players. Isner & Querrey were formidable opponents but the experience and skill level of the Bryan’s proved to provide the upper hand when it mattered as they won the match 6-3, 6-3. Always the showmen, the Bryan’s thank everyone in the stands for their unwavering support and proceeded to hit a few cans worth of tennis balls into the eagerly awaiting fans. Think I saw a few wristbands and towels being tossed out as well.
Less than 10 minutes after the Bryan’s left the court, the announcer was back on the microphone introducing the next competitors – the British team of Andy and Jamie Murray versus the Philippines’ Treat Huey and Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz, the latter two both making their debut in Indian Wells. The Murray brothers, fresh of their first round victory over fifth seeds Robert Lindstedt and Nenad Zimonjic were looking to extend their streak but it wasn’t meant to be. The combination of Janowicz’s serves and Huey’s agility and ability to chase just about any shot down were a little too much for the Brits despite some absolutely fabulous shots. Huey and Janowicz with the win. 6-3, 7-5.
With that third and final doubles match, my Monday was done!