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BNP Paribas Open – Photos – Twitter Mirror On The (Facebook) Wall

Everyone at the BNP Paribas Open – from players, to ballkids, to fans – has been taking part in our roving Twitter Mirror.

We’ve put up the best of the bunch over on Facebook – including a sleepy Novak Djokovic, women’s top seed Li Na giving us fish face, and some pre-match photobombing involving two women’s quarterfinalists. | Tournament Twitter on Facebook

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Alan King Award: Bud Collins

Assistant Tournament Director Cindy Liberati, Bud Collins, Tournament Director Steve Simon, and Indian Wells Tennis Garden CEO Raymond Moore. Photo by Billie Weiss/BNP Paribas Open

In 2014, the Alan King Tennis Passion Award was given to the colorful Bud Collins.

Watch: Tennis Channel coverage – Bud Collins Receives Alan King Tennis Passion Award | BNP Paribas Open on YouTube | BNP Paribas Open Video Features

The Passion Award, awarded at the BNP Paribas Open, was founded in 2004 in honor of Alan King‘s dedication to the sport of tennis. King’s love of the game translated through the attention and details placed on his beloved namesake, the Alan King Tennis Classic. That event is still known as the larger-than-life grandfather of tennis tournaments, an insurmountable benchmark for the production of tennis events around the world.

King was responsible for bringing the popularity of tennis to a new level, still unsurpassed in grandeur, by marrying the exclusive cache of Hollywood glitz and glamour, the notoriety made only through TV and his charismatic personality.

King, who passed away in 2004, left behind a large legacy not only in the entertainment world – but in the world of tennis. In those early years of Open tennis, The Alan King Caesars Palace Tennis Classic in Las Vegas – organized by King – set a standard by which all major tournaments would be measured. Some years later, we were fortunate to bring Alan to this desert and serve as our tournament co-chairman for 17 years. Alan’s inspiration, guidance and passion for the sport of tennis are evident in this tournament today.

The Alan King Tennis Passion Award recognizes and honors individuals who also share that same kind of passion for tennis. Past winners include Rod Laver, Billie Jean King, Tracy Austin, and other legends in the sport.

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Baccarat: 250 Years of Art de Vivre

When the winners of the 2014 BNP Paribas Open lift their trophies on Championship weekend, all eyes will turn to the beautiful crystal creations joining them for the on-court ceremonies.

The stunning trophies are made by Baccarat, the prestigious crystal company celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. The current design, made exclusively for the tournament, debuted in 2009 and has been awarded to Indian Wells champions ever since.

Founded in Lorraine, France, in 1764 by permission of King Louis XV, Baccarat has been the icon of exquisite moments of celebration and has created truly unforgettable experiences, the BNP Paribas Open part of this rich history.

Baccarat received its first royal commission in 1823 when Louis XVIII ordered a glass service to be produced specially for him. Charles X, Louis-Philippe, Napoleon III and a host of Presidents and Heads of State would follow suit.

Baccarat soon earned a solid international reputation: from the furniture pieces produced for Indian maharajahs, to the majestic Tsar chandelier created for Nicholas II, from the exquisite commissions for the Japanese imperial court, to the sheer purity of the water glasses engraved with the initials of the American President F.D. Roosevelt, Baccarat crystal has cast its luster all over the world as the embodiment of the most precious symbol of French Art de Vivre.

As with the Harcourt glass, created in 1841, and now famous for its majestic silhouette, Baccarat’s creations are the vector of a history whose strength lies in its ability to convey the magic of light reflected into infinity. It is this brilliance that magnifies the Maisons Baccarat in Paris and Moscow as well as the first Baccarat Hotel & Residences, which will open in New York in 2014.

Baccarat opened their store in the desert in 1997. At that time, it was the third retail store to open in the United States. (There are currently six in the country.)

The Baccarat store is located at 73-111 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA 92260; 760-346-6805; store hours: Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm, and Sunday 11am-4pm.

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BNP Paribas Open – What to Watch – Friday, March 14

By Nicholas McCarvel

Photo by Billie Weiss

Roger Federer/Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) vs. [2] Alexander Peya (AUT)/Bruno Soares (BRA), first match, Stadium 1
One round after taking out the US Open champions Radek Stepanek and Leander Paes, the Swiss doubles pair of Federer and Wawrinka meet the runners-up from Flushing Meadows in doubles experts Peya and Soares. The No. 2 seeds have squeaked through a couple of close matches to get to the semifinals against the 2008 Olympic champions. This is the first meeting between these two teams.

More: Thursday’s Wrap-Up | Schedule of Play | Doubles Draw | Singles Draws | BNPPO Radio

[2] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. Julien Benneteau (FRA), second match, Stadium 1
Djokovic has not been at his best during this BNP Paribas Open, but the No. 2 seed is into the quarterfinals and gets 32-year-old journeyman Benneteau, the Frenchman who is into his second Masters 1000 quarterfinal in 63 appearances. The Serbian owns their head-to-head 5-1, but will have to bring his A game against “Benny,” who upset countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round and has only been gaining steam since then.

[12] John Isner (USA) vs. [20] Ernests Gulbis (LAT), third match, Stadium 1
Back in the quarterfinals for the first time since his run to the 2012 final, American Isner has seemed to re-capture the form that brought him close to the title that year. Gulbis is a dangerous foe, having won two tight three-setters to reach the final eight. These two have met three times, the Latvian winning two of them, though Isner took the most recent and the only one to be played on hard courts.

[2] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) vs. [6] Simona Halep (ROU), first match, Stadium 1 – Evening
There is perhaps no player on the men’s or women’s circuit that has had a better year than the Romanian Halep, who is projected to enter into the top 5 after Indian Wells when a year ago she was ranked No. 57. The crafty No. 2 seed leads their head-to-head 3-2, but Halep has won their last two meetings, most recently just last month in straight sets.

[1] Li Na (CHN) vs. [20] Flavia Pennetta (ITA), second match, evening session
Both Li and Pennetta survived three-set tussles on Thursday that weren’t particularly pretty, but advanced them to the semifinals of the BNPPO nonetheless. It’s a first-ever semifinal appearance for Pennetta – or any woman from Italy, for that matter – and Li gets back to the final four for the first time since 2007. It WTA encounters, these two are square at two apiece, though Li won their most recent battle at the Australian Open 6-2, 6-2. Pennetta will be swinging for the fences once again as the top see looks to continue to prove herself.

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BNP Paribas Open – Daily Wrap-Up – Thurs., March 13

By Nicholas McCarvel

Photo by Billie Weiss

Photo of the Day: It was an intense match-up between Alexandr Dolgopolov and Milos Raonic, but that didn’t mean the two couldn’t share a smile (and some sarcastic words) during their handshake. Dolgopolov reaches a Masters Series 1000 semifinal for the first time in his career.

Match of the Day: High on drama and oddities, Flavia Pennetta‘s 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 victory over Sloane Stephens was hard-earned, though not always pretty. Pennetta served for the match at 6-4, 5-4, only to lose that game and five more in a row, falling behind 3-0 in the deciding set. It was at the beginning of the third that the wind whipped up, first frustrating the veteran Pennetta before she found her footing. Stephens had the lead deep in the third set, but couldn’t maintain it, coming up tight as Pennetta began to surge.

Honorary Match of the Day: It was a re-match of the Australian Open for top seed Li Na and the never-say-die Dominika Cibulkova, Li coming out on top 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Li had beaten the diminutive Slovakian in straight sets in Melbourne, but was made to work harder on Thursday, Cibulkova often stepping up and belting the ball for winners off the ground. But Li eventually righted her ship, staying even in the third set and closing it out when she could, advancing to the last four here for the first time since 2007.

Stat of the Day: They came close again, but John Isner and Sam Querrey weren’t able to overcome their compatriots and nemeses, Bob and Mike Bryan. The reigning doubles champs and world No. 1 Bryan brothers dropped the first set only to come back and win their ninth straight match against “Quisner” – in nine tries. The brothers will play their fourth final in Indian Wells on Saturday.

Take 2: With his quarterfinal win over Kevin Anderson, four-time champion Roger Federer is set to return to the Top 5 in next week’s rankings. Can he climb higher? He’ll need a couple more wins to do that.

Tweet of the Day: Players have been having fun on the Twitter Mirror during this tournament, and Dolgopolov was no different after his win over Roanic.

Quote of the Day: She may have lost on the court, but Sloane was in good spirits off of it, looking forward to her birthday next week. How is she celebrating? She’s registered for gifts with Target.

Stephens: “I registered at Target. [Smiling.] I’m in the wedding registry, which is so … I’m marrying my mom. Like when it pops up, it says like, Sloane and Sybill’s big day is like eight days away. I was going to marry myself, but I couldn’t put my same name. I ended up having to put my mom’s.”

Question: Did you get to run around with the gun or you did it online?
Stephens: ”No, I did it all online, so it was super easy.”

Video of the Day: It’s never too early to look forward to the next day’s play, is it? Get amped for the action here:

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BNP Paribas Open – Photos – Thursday Throwdown: Quarterfinals in Indian Wells


Photo by Billie Weiss

All Smiles: The second Thursday at the 2014 BNP Paribas Open included six thrilling matches all played on Stadium 1. The women played their remaining quarterfinals while the men began theirs. | Day 9 Gallery

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

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BNP Paribas Open – Watching Tennis in Free-D

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For the first time ever in tennis, ATP Media’s coverage will feature freeD™, an innovative replay technology provided by Replay Technologies and Gearhouse Broadcast that delivers optimum angles and the ability to freeze the action at any point whilst rotating 360-degrees on any plane around the court.

The system works with twenty-two state of the art 5K cameras, will provide never-before-seen angles of action from the BNP Paribas Open, and will raise both the storytelling and the user immersion possibilities to whole new levels, showcasing the best players on the ATP World Tour.

“This is a world-first for tennis and we expect it to be a game changer in the way the sport is covered for broadcast,” said Steve Plasto, CEO ATP Media. ”This will ultimately prove to be a fantastic viewing enhancement and further develop the production values ATP Media delivers to its broadcast partners worldwide.”

Watch: ATP Media’s coverage of the BNP Paribas Open in freeD™.

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BNP Paribas Open – 5 Minutes With… Flavia Pennetta

By Stephen Villatoro

Photo by Michael Cummo

World No. 21 Flavia Pennetta is into the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open after winning besting American Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals. Pennetta is the first Italian to make the final four in this WTA Premier Mandatory event. The tournament 20th seed, who owns nine singles title on the WTA Tour, faces Li Na for a spot in the final.

We caught up with Pennetta after her third-round win against Sam Stosur to ask about her dance moves, her favorite gelato flavor, where we’d find her on a lazy day off, and more.

BNP Paribas Open: We see that you have an interest in horses, and they always have pretty unique names. If you were to name a horse, what would it be and why?
Flavia Pennetta: I would name it Baci. No big reason, just because I like it [Laughter].

BNPPO: If a book was written about your life thus far, what would be the title?
FP: I have a book! It is called “Dritto al Coure”, which means “Straight to the Heart” in English.

BNPPO: What is your favorite flavor of gelato?
FP: It is pralines and cream.

BNPPO: We read that you’re an Al Pacino fan. What is your favorite movie?
FP: il Padrino, parte 1 (The Godfather, Part 1).

MORE: 5 Minutes With… Agnieszka Radwanska | 5 Minutes With…Milos Raonic | The 5 Minutes With… Archive

BNPPO: Would you consider yourself a morning or night person?
FP: I’m definitely a night person. In the morning, it’s not so easy to wake up [Laughter].

BNPPO: Finish the sentence. When I dance, I look like…
FP: A crazy girl!

BNPPO: What is your favorite summer activity?
FP: Lying on the beach and getting some sun.

BNPPO: If you could communicate with any animal, what would it be and why?
FP: It would be a panther. I love that animal. It is very strong and fast, and always seems focused on what it is they have to do.

Thanks for chatting with us, Flavia!

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BNP Paribas Open – Shot of The Day – Tommy Haas against Roger Federer

Where Did That Come From? Tommy Haas didn’t win his match against Roger Federer yesterday, but that didn’t stop the German from hitting the Shot of the Day.

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BNP Paribas Open – What To Watch – Thurs., March 13

By Erwin Ong

Photo by Michael Cummo

We’re getting down to the nitty gritty (sandy?) at the BNP Paribas Open now that the field has narrowed in the second week. Read to see the five matches we’ve picked as the ones to watch:

[20] Flavia Pennetta (ITA) vs. [17] Sloane Stephens (USA), third match, Stadium 1
The No. 2 American, who made her first WTA main draw appearance at this tournament in 2010, hopes to advance past the veteran Italian in their first meeting in almost a year. They’ve both had recent success in the big stages, with Pennetta reaching the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, and Stephens the fourth round. Stephens now works on a full-time basis with coach Paul Annacone, who counts Pete Sampras and Roger Federer as former students.

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

[28] Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) vs. [10] Milos Raonic (CAN)
The flashy and explosive Ukrainian, who upset top seed Rafael Nadal in the third round, could make things difficult for the 10th seeded Canadian in their first ever meeting on the ATP World Tour. Raonic, who is playing his first tournament since bowing out in the third round of the Australian Open, needed three sets to upset fifth seed Andy Murray on Wednesday.

Watch: The BNP Paribas Open 2014 Thursday Preview

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[17] Kevin Anderson (RSA) vs. [7] Roger Federer (SUI), fifth match, Stadium 1
The hard-serving Anderson comes into this match-up with an 11-4 record, including runs into the finals of Acapulco and Delray Beach. The four-time Indian Wells champion Federer has also had a successful season thus far, winning the Dubai title over Novak Djokovic and reaching the Brisbane final in January. Federer won their only meeting five months ago.

[1] Bob Bryan (USA) / Mike Bryan (USA) vs. John Isner (USA) / Sam Querrey (USA)
The all-American semifinal showdown sees the top seeds seeking to add a second BNP Paribas Open title to their already impressive haul of 26 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophies. Querrey and Isner are partnering up for the first time since Beijing 2013 six months ago, and hope to improve on their 0-8 record against their countrymen.

[1] Li Na (CHN) vs. [12] Dominika Cibulkova (SVK), first match, Stadium 1
Our most anticipated match of the day is also the first one on tap. We are curious to see how the Australian Open champion will hold her nerve in a rematch of January’s final, against an opponent that’s kept her level of play just as high since that Saturday in Melbourne. (Cibulkova picked up a hard court title in Acapulco last week.)

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