By Erwin Ong
Photo by Michael Cummo
Photo of the Day: That focus says it all. BNP Paribas Open 20th seed Ernests Gulbis wielded his racket in a tough 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) loss to John Isner in the quarterfinals on Friday afternoon. The two are now 2-2 in their career head-to-heads, with Isner winning their two most recent meetings.
Quote of the Day: Two-time champion and 2014 second seed Novak Djokovic on Larry Ellison and Indian Wells:
“Larry Ellison is a brave man. He’s always each year coming up with something new because he just loves the sport. He’s always trying to make the players feel good, and he’s definitely succeeding in that. Indian Wells is one of the ATP events that shows that, you know, ATP events deserve to be in the same league as the Grand Slams. Why not? So, I mean, this is a great example of a tournament that is seeking always to improve. I thank them for that.”
Match of the Day: Isner and Gulbis put on a show on Stadium 1 to close out the day session on Friday, Isner blasting 13 aces to Gulbis’ seven, and both doling one out on a second serve. The two had no breaks in the first set – and traded breaks in the second – giving the fans an edge-of-their-seats thriller that ended in favor of the American.
Honorary Match of the Day: The big game of Romania’s Simona Halep, the sixth seed in Indian Wells, did not hold up against the touch and guile of tactical Pole Agnieszka Radwanska in the first of Friday’s semifinals. The No. 2 seed won 6-3, 6-4 in 83 minutes, avenging a loss against Halep in the Doha semifinals this year. This is Radwanska’s first Indian Wells final in eight appearances at the tournament.
Tweet of the Day: We haven’t featured Champ in a little bit! It was nice to see him posing for this photo with some long-time lovebirds celebrating their 50th anniversary.
Honorary Tweet of the Day: Radwanska, the World No. 3 tipped her hat to Halep after their semi-final. What a sweet welcome into the Top 5 for Simona!
Stat of the Day: With his win over Gulbis, Isner returns to the Top 10 in the ATP rankings for the first time since September 2012.
Video of the Day: Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan have watched the greats hoist trophies in Indian Wells since they were kids, capturing their own title at this desert event in 2013. Watch on as the Southern California natives talk about capturing the elusive trophy, jamming out in the Tennis Garden, and dish on which twin has the better win-loss record.