This is a big league women's tournament. It may be traditionally sans Williamses, but we can agree on this, n'cest pas? Indian Wells is a big frigging deal.
And this is anyone's tournament.
Let's look not at who is in, but who is out. Kuznetsova. Azarenka. Sharapova. Henin. Clijsters. Think of a big name in tennis - she's probably goneski. This makes this one of the most open tournaments in forever, and there's a real chance that some total random could come through and win the whole thing. There are a few names left - Jankovic, Wozniacki, Zvonareva - but then there a whole bunch of that second tier down who have the most massive chance in forever to walk off with a massive title. I'm talking Kleybanova. I'm talking Stosur. I'm talking Wickmayer and Martinez Sanchez. This tournament is one of the biggest chances in ages for someone to really announce themselves on the women's tour.
When the big names in men's tennis go out, I find it disappointing. In women's tennis, we're in a place where I find it exciting. We're in a place where someone could do what Wozniacki did at the US Open and make the best of a bad situation , or, alternatively, a place where someone could massively step up to the plate. You might be able to tell that I am massively in favour of Option B. Specifically, I am in favour of Samantha Stosur running away with the entire thing, but it's going to be interesting either way. Fun times.
Meanwhile, over in the dudes, the big names pretty much survived, but they did it differently. Rafael Nadal was in total cruise control mode in his victory over Mario Ancic. Novak Djokovic came within three points of losing to Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Will the real #2 please stand up?
3 weeks ago