It's amazing to me that the announcer working with Lindsay Davenport can't stop whining about how the ATP #1 has played three qualifiers. Doug Adler and Robbie Koenig implied that their favorite, the World #2 would have no trouble in his match against an up and coming American. When that American showed some spunk and didn't roll over and play dead they had to change their tune. Both men got through in straight sets.
I decided to look at the draws and see if one player was getting a free ride while another one had to fight his way through the invading hordes.
Igor Andreev, currently ranked #96 and won in straight sets 7-5, 7-6(4). He next faced Juan Ignacio Chela, world #32 and won that 6-0, 6-2. His third match was against world #152 Ryan Harrison whom he defeated 7-6(4), 6-3.
Rik de Voest winning 6-0, 6-2. His next match was against world #105 Ryan Sweeting, and he won that one 6-3, 6-1. His third match was against #84 Somdev Devvarman and saw him win 7-5, 6-4.
I don't think either man had to exactly cut his way through a swarm of invading barbarians. That said Somdev Devvarman gave the world #1 a more difficult time than many expected. I thought that the match would be a tough one because Devvarman, who had never played his opponent before had nothing to lose. Second of all India, especially in the ATP, is fighting to become part of the conversation when power countries are discussed. Thirdly the world #1 sometimes has a hard time against people he's never played before. He still managed to avoid tiebreaks and the scoreline accurately reflects how the match went.
Ryan Harrison showed that he is still playing junior level tennis. Yes he pushed the Monogram more than expected but in the end Harrison's inexperience showed. I also suspect that someone got to him and he kept his nasty attitude confined to his interaction with ball kids. I know a lot of Americans are looking to him as the successor to Andy Roddick but anyone whose tantrums make Roddick's look lame is not someone I want representing my country on the world wide tennis stage.
Unfortunately when these tirades happen it usually means Andy is losing.
Richard Gasquet ignored all the drama taking place across the net and managed to win against Roddick in straight sets 6-3, 7-6(5). Gasquet's coaching team now includes Sebastian Grosjean, seen above in the forefront, and Riccardo Piatti. Whatever they're doing seems to be working so far.
Xavier Malisse and Alexsandr Dolgopolov, already nicknamed Team Ponytail, have taken out the top ranked Bryan Twins and last night, in a match that was dubbed the Ponytails vs the Fro's, took out the Murray Brothers. I haven't seen them play yet. I hope that fans get a chance to see some of the teams playing Indian Wells more often. The doubles have been exciting so far.
Serena Williams, at the end of her USA Today interview said that she would even play Indian Wells. Of course it was in the context of her coming back and getting to the top of the heap but it is a significant statement and one that I don't think she would have made without the change in ownership.
Congratulations Mr. Ellison. And thank you.