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This year, one of the biggest professional tennis tournaments in the world unveiled newly renovated grounds in Indian Wells, Calif. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison owns the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens and he has succeeded at making the BNP Paribas Open the most competitive tennis tournament next to the four grand slams – the US Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and Australian Open.
A brand new Stadium 2 court was completed just prior to the start of the tournament, which landed on March 3. The stadium seats 8,000 fans and is home to a few restaurants, including the world renowned Nobu. All of the upgrades, along with a great reputation, allowed the tournament to reach its highest attendance ever recorded of 431,527 fans, notes ATP World Tour.
Several upsets were seen this year during the tournament, including Rafael Nadal’s (world No. 1) loss in the third round against world No. 23, Alexandr Dolgopolov from Ukraine. Nadal was the defending champion, along with Maria Sharapova, who lost her match immediately following Nadal making that two shocking defeats back-to-back. Andy Murray (2012 Gold Medalist) was also upset by Miles Raonic of Canada. Raonic’s serve undoubtedly lead to his victory against Murray, advancing him to meet Dolgopolov in the next round.
Three days following the end of the tournament, Murray split with his coach of two years, Ivan Lendl. SI.com reports that Lendl not only helped Murray win the Olympic Gold, but also helped him become the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years.
“It was something I was waiting since long time, and finally I have a good trophy in my hands,” Flavia Pennetta told the Associated Press after topping world No. 3, Agnieszka Radwanska, in the finals on March 16.
Penetta was the number 20 seed of the tournament and is the lowest seed to ever win. She is one of the older players in the WTA, and despite her world ranking she deserved to win without question. Pennetta proved her athleticism and should return next year has defending champion.
As for the men, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were able to squeeze past the tough competition and vie with one another to win the million-dollar cash prize. They delivered a final match that the fans could only dream of – a third set tiebreak. Although Federer was the crowd favorite, Djokovic came out on top.
The 2015 BNP Paribas Open is scheduled for March 9-22 in Indian Wells, CA.
top image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
other images courtesy of Getty Images