BY RENEE BUCKLEY
FRONT PAGE EDITOR
Photo courtesy of AP Images. Venus Williams stretches to return a shot to opponent and sister Serena Williams during the third round of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif. March 12, 2018.
The BNP Paribas Open began its main event on March 8, kicking off the first tournament in the ATP World Masters 1000, at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Boasting the second largest tennis stadium in the world, and prize money totaling $7,972,535, the bar is set for the rest of the tournament season.
The tournament kicked off with Serena Williams playing her first game back after giving birth, against Zarina Diyas, dominating the match, 7-5, 6-3, setting the tone for her return. Though the triumphant return did not continue when she met her sister, Venus Williams, on March 12, getting knocked out of the tournament, 6-3,6-4. The defeat brought the realization to both her and fans that she had a lot more to work on before she is back on top of the game.
Continuing the shocking upsets, Novak Djokovic, once considered the best male tennis player in the world, was knocked out in qualifying by Taro Daniels, ranked 105, 7-6,4-6,6-1, not even advancing to main event matches. Djokovic freshly back from an elbow injury disappointed himself and told the Desert Sun, “for me, it felt like the first match I ever played on the tour.” This is the earliest Djokovic has been knocked out of a tournament since The Miami Open in 2006.
Despite the upsets, BNP Paribas Open helps to support our local desert community, not only economically, by bringing in tourists and promoting local businesses, but helps to inspire out tennis youth. COD student Luciano Ferrer discussed, “I’m a tennis coach and having the BNP in our backyard, is a true blessing not only for tennis fans but for aspiring players who hope to play in stadiums one day. you can really see a tennis twinkle in their eye that shows that their love for the game is real.”