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BNP Paribas Open – Around The Grounds – Novel-tees

By Erwin Ong

Some folks make a ritual of grabbing souvenirs from the BNP Paribas Open, and we offer our picks for those who prefer to wear their memories from this year’s tennis in the desert. 

One for you, onesie for me: At the Fila tent, pick up these fun, matching shirts and onesies, decorated with pastel tennis ball stamps. ($25 for the shirt, $18 for the onesie).

Shop Links: Tournament Site Map | Fila Shop | BNP Paribas Open Online Shop | Quenching Your Thirst In A Desert Oasis

For when it gets cold: In case you’re not from around here, a little style tip: it’s layers, layers, layers. The searing temps in the daylight give way to significantly colder temps at night. If you’re looking for a sweatshirt to add to your wardrobe, here’s our pick. Nothing says classic desert tennis like the IWTG’s logo, complete with palm tree silhouette and shades of adobe. (IWTG Tennis Collection tent, $54.)

Tennis In Style: On the left, a vintage-inspired BNP Paribas Open tee at the Fila tent and a classic tennis dress in navy and white (with a peekabo red placket) from Lacoste, from the IWTG Tennis Collection.

V is for Roger Federer: The ladies can grab their Federer Fan Club uniforms in the form of these v-neck tees cheering on the four-time champion. (IWTG Tennis Collection)

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BNP Paribas Open – Photos – Great Shots! Our Favorite Week 1 Photos

There have been plenty of fantastic matches so far at the 2014 BNP Paribas Open and some equally beautiful photographs. Here’s a look back at the tournament so far told through some memorable images.

All photos by Billie Weiss and Michael Cummo/BNP Paribas Open.

Browse the Gallery: Great Shots! Our Favorite Week 1 Photos

More: Tournament News | Orders of Play | Tournament Draws | Live Scores | Radio

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BNP Paribas Open – 5 Minutes with… Daniela Hantuchova

By Erwin Ong

Photo by Billie Weiss

Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova has had much success on the hard courts of the BNP Paribas Open. The two-time champion (2002, 2007) sat down to chat with us about her fantasy superpower, working with coach Peter Lundgren, and what she loves most about the desert.

BNPPO: As a two-time champion, what do you like about Indian Wells?
It’s such an incredible place and it’s one of my favorite tournament. I know we tennis players always say “this is my favorite tournament” but this really is my favorite tournament in the world. Even just the scenery – you look around, you see the mountains, and the beautiful golf courses. The moment you arrive, it just makes you feel so good being here.

MORE: 5 Minutes With… Series | Updated Draws | Photos from the Tournament

BNPPO: Speaking of golf, you’re a bit of a golfer. Do you get a chance to work on your golf out here?
DH: I always make sure I’ll get some holes in. I haven’t had time yet this year. Can’t wait to be out there. There are some very special places to play on. I love the sport. It’s a great way to relax and get away from it all.

BNPPO: What is your off-court style?
DH: I think it’s about just being yourself, so whatever that means for everybody. Everyone has different styles. I always like to keep it simple and not overdo it. I just like to be casual with a few accessories to make it a bit more interesting.

BNPPO: Have you had a chance to try any of the new restaurants on the grounds?
DH: I haven’t yet. I go to my favorite sushi spot around the corner from the stadium. And obviously Ristorante Mamma Gina’s where I have been many, many times.

But Nobu is on top of my priority list. I’m hoping to go there soon.

BNPPO: What are your hobbies off the court?
DH: Just being with my family, friends hanging around. Talking about normal stuff.

BNPPO: And playing the piano?
DH: Yes, I’ve been playing a lot more recently.

BNPPO: Your favorite piece?
DH: That’s tough to say. When I was starting, I used to play a lot of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, so I would say it’s something classic.

BNPPO: So you’ve started working with legendary coach Peter Lundgren. How would you do his hair differently?

DH: [Laughing] I wouldn’t change a thing about him. He’s such an amazing guy. I am so thankful for the opportunity. I can’t even say how happy I am. Every moment with him has been extremely helpful. I still cant believe I have him in my team. He’s such a great, fantastic coach and also as a person.

BNPPO: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
DH: To be invisible.

Thanks for chatting with us, Daniela!

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BNP Paribas Open – What To Watch – Tues., March 11

By Erwin Ong

Photo by Michael Cummo

Tuesday’s line-up at the 2014 BNP Paribas Open has everything from first-time match-ups to old rivalries renewed. Here’s our list of the five matches to look out for: 

[7] Jelena Jankovic (SRB) vs. [10] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN), second match, Stadium 1
The Dane has the upper hand in the head-to-head between these two former World No. 1s, winning five straight matches against the Serb through their last meeting in 2012.  The resurgent Jankovic, already twice a semifinalist in 2014, has given credit for some of her renewed confidence to having her brother Marko as a full-time coach.

MORE: Tuesday’s Schedule of Play | Sharapova, Nadal exit | Monday Photos | Updated Draws

Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) vs. [12] John Isner (USA), fifth match, Stadium 1
Isner, the Indian Wells runner-up to Roger Federer in 2012, has beaten Lu in their two meetings, including the 2014 Auckland final just two months ago. The North Carolina native is the only American man left in the draw.

[1] Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA) vs. Julien Benneteau/Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA), sixth match, Stadium 2
The Americans twins continue their year with a 11-3 record, collecting a title in Delray Beach along the way.  After two days off they resume the defense of their lone title in Indian Wells won a year ago and face a French duo also on a solid run this year; the pair won Marseille in February, their first title as a team.

[15] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) vs. [20] Ernests Gulbis (LAT), third match, Stadium 2
This is sure to be an entertaining match between two shotmakers on the ATP World Tour. The two are at 1-1 in their head-to-head, with the Bulgarian winning their Acapulco quarterfinal battle just two weeks ago en route to the title, a match that went to 7-5 in the third set. Gulbis himself has also had a strong start: he picked up his first title of 2014 in Marseille. 

[6] Simona Halep (ROU) vs. [18] Eugenie Bouchard (CAN), first match, Stadium 2
This will be the first meeting between two of the WTA’s fastest-rising stars. The 22-year-old Romanian already picked up one title this year, in Doha, while the 20-year-old Canadian is still chasing her first title after a masterful run to the Australian Open semifinals.

Watch: Get pumped for the day with a little action from the practice courts, featuring Novak Djokovic, Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska.


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BNP Paribas Open – Daily Wrap-Up – Mon., March 10

By Nicholas McCarvel

Photo of the Day: Is there anything Gael Monfils can’t do on a tennis court? Doesn’t seem like it. The righty displayed a little left-handed skill against Fabio Fognini at mid-court, though it was the Italian who came through in three long sets on Stadium 2 at the BNP Paribas Open.

More: Photos from Day 6 | Getting to Know Camila Giorgi | Tuesday Schedule | Draws

Match of the Day: It was hard to think that after Maria Sharapova’s extended third set late in the afternoon that a match could top it, but Rafael Nadal‘s did just that. Nadal was again taken to three sets, this time by pesky Alexandr Dolgopolov, the No. 28 seed with a zippy, blasting game. After trailing 5-2 in the decider, Nadal rallied for a 5-all tie and then took the match into a tiebreak, seemingly to end in favor of the top seed and defending champion. But it wouldn’t go down that way, the Ukranian ranked No. 31 in the world swinging for the back lines and bringing the Stadium 1 crowd along with him. It was a first-ever win over a world No. 1 for Dolgopolov, who finished the night by throwing his shoes into the crowd (in celebration) after his 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) victory.

Honorary Match of the Day: For just a little while Camila Giorgi was the biggest name on the grounds of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, having beaten another defending champion in Sharapova. A flashy Italian, Giorgi served it out in the third after failing to do so at 5-4, getting the win 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, perhaps the biggest of her career – even with two second-week appearances at Grand Slams in the past.

Stat of the Day: For the first time since 2004 Nadal loses in Indian Wells before the semifinals. The Spaniard won here in 2007, 2009 and 2013 and was a semifinalist in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Tweet of the Day: 2011 winner Caroline Wozniacki had plenty of fun with our tournament Twitter Mirror during her Tennis Warehouse visit.

Quote of the Day: Li Na on her husband being the recognizable one in the family: ”Yeah. Is true. Three years ago after Melbourne I was [on a flight] and he helped me put bag on top, and suddenly said, ‘Look, look, this is Li Na’s husband.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, so many people say that!’ [Smiling.] So after 10 minutes the plane was in air, and the lady come again, and said, ‘Oh, sorry, I didn’t know you were Li Na!’ Sometimes I tell my husband, ‘Don’t come with me! You go in first or you going behind. Don’t come with me.’”

Video of the Day: Up-and-coming star Genie Bouchard joined the BNP Paribas Open for a little Google+ Hangout. Catch up on it here:

And: Tennis players! Baby pictures! Put them together and what do you get? This hilarious video:

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BNP Paribas Open – Getting to Know… Camila Giorgi


Photo by Billie Weiss

Tuesday afternoon Italian Camila Giorgi wowed the BNP Paribas Open Stadium 1 crowd – and fans around the world – with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 win over defending champion Maria Sharapova. But who is the petite and hard-hitting Giorgi? We help explain.

More: Updated Women’s Draw | Sharapova’s Sochi Experience | Photos

Been There, Done That
She famously made a run into the fourth round of the 2013 US Open after qualifying for the main draw. She upset sixth seed Caroline Wozniacki in a thrilling night match on Arthur Ashe Stadium before losing out to Roberta Vinci.

All in the Family
Giorgi’s on-court outfits are all designed by her mom, Claudia. The 22-year-old does not have a major clothing sponsor. Her favorite color is black.

American Heroes
The Macerata, Italy, native is coached by her father, Sergio, and considers Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi as her tennis idols growing up. Her long-term goal is to be the No. 1 player in the world.

Early Start
Giorgi began playing at age five at a local club near her house. Her father introduced her to the sport.

On She Goes
Facing fellow Italian Flavia Pennetta in the fourth round, Giorgi is one of two qualifiers – along with Casey Dellacqua – to make the fourth round.

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BNP Paribas Open – 5 Minutes With… Agnieszka Radwanska

By Stephen Villatoro

Photo by Michael Cummo

After becoming just the 11th WTA player to post a double bagel in BNP Paribas Open history, World No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska took some time to chat with us about her favorite childhood cartoon, what’s in her fridge, and who she would pick as a doubles partner. (Did she pick the pirate or the ninja?) Read on for more:

BNP Paribas Open: First of all, happy belated birthday! What did you do to celebrate?
Agnieszka Radwanska: Me and all of my friends went out to dinner.  All of my friends and all the Polish players, it was like 20 of us. It was a very nice dinner.

BNPPO: We read that one of your favorite bands is Green Day. Do you have a favorite song?
AR: I do [like Green Day], but right now my favorite song is Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.”

BNPPO: You need a doubles partner, and your only options are either a ninja or a pirate. Which would you choose, and why?
AR: I would pick a ninja. I think I would feel more safe.

BNPPO: We saw you throwing water balloons off the roof last week. Is it more fun to throw at a target or our mascot, Champ?
AR: [Laughter] It depends, but here I threw at a target and felt I did pretty well.

BNPPO: Growing up, did you have a favorite show/cartoon to watch?
AR: Of course, I really liked Tom & Jerry.

MORE: 5 Minutes With… Varvara Lepchenko | 5 Minutes With…Milos Raonic | The 5 Minutes With… Archive

BNPPO: Who would root for, Tom or Jerry?
AR: I think Jerry. He’s small and innocent and always trying to get away.

BNPPO: What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
AR: You would always find yogurt. I like to mix up the flavors, so I don’t have the same thing all the time.

BNPPO: If you had a time machine, what year would you visit?
AR: I think I would visit the future. I’m curious to see what it looks like.

BNPPO: Dogs or cats?
AR: Definitely, dogs. I think cats aren’t as friendly. With dogs, you can be their best friend. Cats just seem to run away and do nothing. I’m not a huge fan.

BNPPO: Describe your time in Indian Wells so far in three words.
AR: Fun, relaxing, [great] shopping.

Thanks so much, Aga!

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BNP Paribas Open – Photos – Making Them Work For It

The Day In Picture: As the draws narrow down, the matches are getting tougher. Monday at the 2014 BNP Paribas Open has already seen a few nail-biters for the top seeds as well as some upsets. | See the Day 5 Gallery on Facebook

All photos by Billie Weiss and Michael Cummo/BNP Paribas Open.

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BNP Paribas Open – Video – Djokovic Crashes Dimitrov’s Interview

Leave it to Novak Djokovic to turn a press conference into a light-hearted one-on-one with fellow ATP player Grigor Dimitrov. The 22-year-old Bulgarian was in press after winning his second-round match against Robin Haase when Djokovic walked past, the World No. 2 himself finishing up with interviews.

Watch: Djokovic Crashes Dimitrov Press Conference

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BNP Paribas Open – What To Watch – Mon., March 10

By Erwin Ong

Photo by Billie Weiss

The men and women in the top half of the draw play their third-round matches on Monday, and the order of play includes the top seeds, defending champions, and a Roger Federer twofer. See our picks for the five matches to watch on Monday at the BNP Paribas Open:

[4] Maria Sharapova (RUS) vs. [Q] Camila Giorgi (ITA), third match, Stadium 1
Don’t let the looks fool you: both the defending champion and the Italian qualifier know a thing or two about power tennis, with Giorgi using her skills to reach the US Open fourth round in 2013. And then there’s the fashion. The two are known for their on-court style, Sharapova with her eponymous collection, and Giorgi’s mom designing and constructing her feminine, flirty outfits.

[11] Ana Ivanovic (SRB) vs. [17] Sloane Stephens (USA), fifth match, Stadium 1
Two-time Indian Wells champ Ivanovic hopes to channel the strong play that gave her success during the Australian Open swing when she faces Stephens, the only seeded American woman left in the draw.

MORE: Tournament News | Monday’s Order of Play | Draws | Best of Tournament Photos

[13] Fabio Fognini (ITA) vs. [23] Gael Monfils (FRA), second match, Stadium 2
The fiery Italian and the acrobatic Frenchman are sure to delight fans who nab a seat in Stadium 2 (don’t leave after Jiri Vesely vs. Andy Murray!). Both players enter the tournament each having won one title this season, and are tied at 2-2 in their head-to-head record.

Roger Federer/Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) vs. Ernests Gulbis (LAT)/Milos Raonic (CAN), sixth match, Stadium 2
The powerhouse Swiss team continues their run in the desert with a second-round encounter against Gulbis and Raonic, who are playing their first event as a team. (Earlier in the day, in singles, the No. 7 seeded Federer will play No. 27 Dmitry Tursunov.)

[1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR), fourth match, Stadium 1
The men’s defending champion is 5-0 against the World No. 31, but Dolgopolov pushed him to a tiebreak in their most recent encounter, in the Rio final last month.

Bonus: Our video of Who’s On Tap to play for Monday, March 10. Which matches are you looking out for today?

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