Indian Wells Tournament Wrap

Mar 23, 2009

Sunday saw the conclusion of the combined ATP, WTA tour events held in Indian Wells, California and the two tournaments could not have been more different. The usual suspects progressed through the men’s draw and deep into the second week, while on the women’s side it was a tournament of upsets as little known youngsters took down their more established rivals, announcing to the tennis world that it may not be too long before they themselves are part of the game’s elite.

Nadal Nabs Another Title

In a bit of an anti-climax Rafael Nadal destroyed Andy Murray in the final 6-1, 6-2 in blustery conditions to claim his second title here after his victory in 2007. The toughest opponent for Nadal on the day was the wind – and even that he handled with his usual gritty determination.

With a sandstorm brewing outside the stadium and gusts of up to 45mph measured, Nadal put in place a game plan that reigned in the aggressive shots targeted at the sidelines, and forced his opponent into making the mistakes.

“My strategy was to move all the time.” Nadal said “When there is a lot of wind, the important thing is you don’t have to find the shots close to the line. Put balls in play”

He executed to perfection and Murray was left to ponder the possibility that the Spaniard’s game is still improving.

“He moves around so well and he has improved his game by using more slice, coming to the net better, and his backhand is better. He’s doing everything better.”

A scary proposition for opponents as players build towards the French Open in a couple of months time.

Andy Roddick Continues To Impress

One other positive to note out of this tournament was the continued resurgence of Andy Roddick. On his trip Down Under at the start of this year it was obvious that he had shed some weight and appeared to be approaching the form we saw from him at the start of the decade when he was at his peak.

He has lifted himself to number six in the rankings, and his victory over number four Novak Djokovic in the quarter finals here has served notice that he has the ambition and desire to climb higher. Continued improvements throughout the year could see him emerge as a real threat at Flushing Meadows in September.

Zvonareva Downs Ivanovic

Ana Ivanovic knew going into this final that the windy conditions were going to create a situation where the player who implemented their game plan best would walk away with the title.

Unfortunately for her it was her opponent Vera Zvonareva who managed that feat, taking a tough first set in a tie break before romping home 6-2 in the second to add the singles title to her win in the doubles on Saturday, capping off a wonderful fortnight for the Russian.

So often in the past Zvonareva has been overshadowed by her compatriots, and this has not been helped by her weak record at the major tennis events. A different Zvonareva would appear to have emerged in 2009 with her semi-finals appearance at the Australian Open and her victory here. She has now moved up to fifth in the rankings and at the age of 24 would appear to be reaching her peak.

While this tournament was without the Williams sisters, and there were surprise early exits for three of the top seeds, you can only play the opponents put in front of you, which Zvonareva did in style. If she continues to play smart tennis under pressure as she did here, there is every chance that she can emulate her performance in Melbourne…and perhaps go one or two steps further.


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Written by: Crooksy

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