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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : sports : local September 30, 2014

1/28/2013 9:28:00 PM
'My Point'
Column: Tennis' party of year coming soon - and near
Aaron Favila/The Associated Press
This year’s Australian Open champion, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, is among the field competing this March at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Aaron Favila/The Associated Press
This year’s Australian Open champion, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, is among the field competing this March at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Chris Howard
Courier Columnist

Technically it's called the BNP Paribas Open that will be held March 4-17 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. But then again, it's the best tennis event you could ever want to attend and in our neck of the woods.

It's been noted as "Tennis in Wonderland", "The West's U.S. Open", "The Camelot of Tennis", "The Tour's Fifth Major", and the most "Fan Friendly Major." It's all of those things and the tennis party of the year.

Where else do you get to see the top men's and women's players converge in singles and doubles at a Masters, starting with the free qualifying tournament (March 4-6), followed by the first round of the main draw on Monday, March 7.

Last year's champions, Roger Federer and Victoria Azarenka, will return to defend their titles.

With them will be the likes of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the man who's been missing in action Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Janko Tipsarevic and Richard Gasquet.

The women include Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelisque Kerber, Li Na, Sara Errani, Petra Kvitova, Samantha Stosur, Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, Daniela Hantuchova, Francesca Schiavone and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

American players include John Isner, Sam Querrey, Mardy Fish, Brian Baker, Ryan Harrison, Varvara Lepchenko, Sloane Stephens, Christina McHale, Jame Hampton and Vania King, with a total field represented by 33 different countries.

The BNP Paribas Open is the largest ATP World Tour and WTA combined two-week event in the world. It offers more than $10,000,000 in prize money, and is the only event to provide the Hawkeye line challenge system on all match courts. Last year, more than 370,000 people attended this tournament.

When you're not sitting in the second largest stadium in the world watching the main attractions, you can roam the magnificent grounds visiting the other five-star studded match courts, the multitude of fan-friendly practice courts, sit or lie down in the grassy area in front of the multi-video screen, or hit the "Tennis Garden" for food, visit the great vendor areas to window shop or buy a fabulous keepsake or kick back and watch the beautiful people make the rounds.

At various spots and times, there are autograph sessions, live interviews of current and former players you can talk with and question, merchandise giveaways, live music, Tri-level championships and more.

To make your debut in person, to purchase tickets or obtain hotel rooms, visit www.bnpparibasopen.com where there is a complete listing and description of all ticket packages and pricing.

Don't let another day go by. Mark your calendar, fill your car up with gas, make your reservations and grab your friends to be a part of the 2013 BNP Paribas Open, it's a tennis happening!

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or choward4541@q.com.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: edna moglewer

Made me regret we haven't made plans to go this year. Fun place. We usually go the first couple free practice days and stay for one or two more.
Dog gone, Chris, you made me feel bad we're not going!

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: SHE CHEATS

I would not go across the street to see Azarenka - what a shame the #1 ranked woman tennis player cheats! Her defeat over Sloane Stephens was an absolute travesty. If the WTA doesn't recognize that a rule was violated then heaven help them.

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