Fan StoriesIndian WellsRoger Federer

Fan Story: Indian Wells Without RF

Hey guys, this is a fan story from Fran about Indian Wells 2016. Just like last years fan story it has some awesome photos. Enjoy!

I had high hopes for this year’s Indian Wells. I bought my tickets back in September and I had hoped this would be the year my son, Thomas, would get Federer’s autograph and I would get to watch Federer play live again. Alas, we will have to wait another year. When I heard about Federer’s knee surgery, I didn’t think he would be ready for Indian Wells and I was right. I tried not to be too disappointed, but I was. I knew there was a good chance he wouldn’t be playing the days we went even if he was playing. I just tried to focus on other players I enjoy and really wanted to see.

On Sunday, March 13, my husband and 2 kids went with me. I bought loge seats on the second level. It was by far the best weather I have ever seen at Indian Wells. It was partly cloudy all day and much cooler. I finally didn’t have to swelter under the hot sun! Like Sue, I dropped my camera but luckily I only damaged the UV filter and not the lens or camera. We watched Zverev beat Dimitrov pretty easily. I really like both players and it was exciting to see Zverev play so well. I had heard a lot of talk about this up-and-comer so I was interested to see him play. I was unhappy that Dimitrov lost again and the great promise he showed in the past was nowhere to be found.

I love taking pictures and I was fortunate enough to borrow a telephoto (100-400mm) lens from a friend. (Not the lens I dropped thankfully. I was super careful with this lens!) I am not a professional by any stretch but it was fun being asked if I was by a few spectators.

Alexander Zverev on Stadium 1
Alexander Zverev on Stadium 1
Kei Nishikori
Kei Nishikori

One of my favorite players is Kei Nishikori. We watched his match against Kukushkin. This was not the most exciting match but fun to watch Nishikori play up close.

Then, we wandered into one of the smaller stadiums. Kohlshreiber vs. Kudla was a complete blow out with the score 6-0 6-1. The crowd was really pulling for the American, but he couldn’t hit a winner or get a point to save his life!

Philip Kohlshreiber
Philip Kohlshreiber

The last match we watched was by far the best. I was expecting Djokovic to beat the Fratangelo easily. We couldn’t believe how hard the American was hitting the ball and kept winning point after point. After Fratangelo won the first set though, it was all Djokovic with the final score being 2-6 6-1 6-2.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

On Tuesday, I took my son, Thomas. This was his sixth year attending this event. We had courtside seats, 5 rows from the front. We ate at the new Sports bar that opened this year at Indian Wells. As we were eating some pizza, Vasek Pospisil walked in with a video and still photographer along with a man that looked like a chef. I had seen on the menu earlier that 2 of the sandwiches were named after last year’s doubles winners – Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil. They sat down at the table next to us and we watched as the chef interviewed him for a few minutes and he took a bite out of his signature sandwich. My son and I did not want to intrude by asking for an autograph or taking a picture. They were only there a few minutes but it was a thrill to see a player up close and relaxed. After lunch, we watched Nishikori beat Johnson pretty handily. When this match was over we decided to watch John Isner vs. Mannarino in stadium 2. We managed to find 2 seats and we settled in to watch the match. Unfortunately, there was no cloud cover on this day and we got the brunt of the sun. It was so hot! We couldn’t take more than a set so we left.

John Isner
John Isner

We got back into our great seats in stadium 1 and watched Nadal vs. Verdasco. I was very excited to see this match after the great match that Verdasco played in Australia. This match turned out to not be very competitive at all, with Nadal taking the first set easily 6-0. Then, Verdasco made it all the way into the tiebreaker in the second set. I was hoping for a 3rd set just to make it interesting, but Nadal won the match.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal
Nadal being interviewed by Sky Sports in front of where I was sitting
Nadal being interviewed by Sky Sports in front of where I was sitting

On Thursday, I took my daughter, Maddy, to Indian Wells. I think she more excited to eat sushi at Nobu then watch tennis. She loves sushi so much. We sat on the patio and had a delicious meal of salmon and albacore sushi and some California rolls.

We watched Cilic vs. Goffin. I didn’t think Goffin had much of a chance with Cilic’s size and big serve, but I was wrong. Goffin played surprisingly well, winning the first set in a tiebreaker. He then took the second set pretty easily 6-2.

Afterwards, we watched an entertaining doubles match. It was Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares vs. Feliciano Lopez/Marc Lopez. It went to 2 tiebreakers and then the match was decided in a super tiebreaker 10-8.

Cilic Warming Up
Love this shot! I was able to take this picture from the front row while Marin Cilic was warming up.
David Goffin
David Goffin

All in all, I thought this was a good Indian Wells tournament. It was definitely not as fun without Roger, but I know he will be back next year. Here are some shots I took over the last 2 years. I can’t write this post without including a photo or 2 of Roger! Counting the days until next year’s Indian Wells with Roger Federer!

Federer in 2014
Federer in 2014
Federer in 2015
Federer in 2015


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. Hey Fran, Nice photos. Funny you saw a lot of the matches I saw. We were probably bumping into each other and not even knowing it. The Nishikori match was very boring. lol.

    The weather is such an issue there. When it’s hot and if you’re not in the shade, it’s unbearable. Doubt if I’ll get there next year. Fed did say he would play though. Hope you get an autograph.

    Roger injured himself in such a stupid way….what a dork.

  2. Thank you for this Fran!

    I keep hearing that all the “improvements” come at the cost of huge increases in ticket prices. What say you? Worth it, or maybe not?

    1. Yes ticket prices were much higher this year. I didn’t see a lot of differences from last year except that they put all new seats in the main stadium. It’s a great event though. I know they plan on doing more improvements next year.

  3. Thinker, you can get a grounds pass for 50 -60 USD. See a lot of amazing matches all day long. You have to be prepared to sit in the sun and not always on a comfortable seat (like everywhere).
    All stadiums are then free except for stadium 1. In stadium one you have to sit up high but have the chance of moving lower if seats are empty.
    If you are planning on going, I have access to the best seats but you have to pay the price.
    Historically, Fed seems to play Sunday day session and Tues evening session.
    I love it there, would recommend it to everyone even Jonathan.

      1. For general admission it is around 50-60 dollars (bleacher seats at the top of the stadium). I bought tickets for the first Sunday (loge seating) 2nd tier from the top. It was $90 for day session. I think night session is around $75. It was 2nd round men’s matches and 3rd round women’s. Prices increase with each round.

      2. Stadium 2 has just as good matches. We would have tickets to stadium 1 and want to see the matches on 2. Stadium 2 is free with a grounds pass. There are some seats that are reserved though. But tons of great seats.
        That area has tons of golf courses, tennis courts, hiking, etc. Lots to do and great Mexican food. You should go one day.

  4. Thanks Fran! Superb photos. No surprise to me when Goffin won; 1) he’s a great player and is gaining confidence week by week; 2) Cilic is done IMO. I still can’t believe he won that USO.

    Zverev is definitely one to watch. Shame he flubbed that volley against Nadal. That would have been a win to remember. Sad that he’s out of Miami, but not the type of court to suit him perhaps.

    Miami is my least favourite tournament anyway and it may be that a few more weeks practising and getting that knee strong will be a blessing. It’s fast turning into a shambles anyway. I was sad that Delpo couldn’t capitalise on Fed’s withdrawal. I’m wondering now (with having his wrist looked at during his match against Zeballos) whether he can ever come back to near his best. I like the big guy, so I hope so.

    Thanks again Fran. Not as good without the champ, but still exciting to see all the other players. 🙂

  5. The good thing about Miami is a lot of the top ranked players are out. Good for Fed’s situation loosing all those points so far this year.
    The bad news is…who is going to stop Djokovic?
    I’m thinking Roger should be in quarantine before a tournament. Brisbane he was sick with something (caught from his kids). Then, he injures himself running a bath for the girls and missed 3 tournaments he would have done well at. Then he’s back and gets a flu bug…kids again?

    1. Hi Sue! Yes, Murray will lose a few points going out in 3rd round as he went to final last time. That’s useful. I think this sickness virus was going around at Miami. Rajeed Ram pulled out of first round with it. ?Nadal sounds as like he had it, and Dimitrov mentioned that he’d had a bit of a bug earlier in the week. So I don’t think we can blame the Fed kids this time. 😉

      1. Yeah less than 200 points separating Murray and Federer. Considering Murray made 400 more points last clay season than Federer, Roger is going to have a chance of getting the number 2 rank before the French if he plays a few tournaments.

      2. Virii or weather, the players look like they’re struggling physically. Nadal was painful to watch against Damir. At a point I thought he was acting but he wasn’t and pushed it as far as he could. Yesterday Halep ran out of fuel halfway through the match. About Mr. Andrew Murray, one never knows: his usual pose is moaning and dragging his feet…

      3. “Yeah less than 200 points separating Murray and Federer. Considering Murray made 400 more points last clay season than Federer, Roger is going to have a chance of getting the number 2 rank before the French if he plays a few tournaments.”

        Thing is, there’s no way Murray should even be at No. 2 based on current performance. He basically only got it at the end of last season because Roger was below par in the autumn, and now he’s effectively only retained it because Roger has been injured. I’d be far happier if he’d actively done something to deserve it – say, winning Miami.

    2. “The bad news is…who is going to stop Djokovic?”

      Nobody, as usual, I guess. I still can’t decide to what extent his success is based on ability and to what extent on good fortune. I suppose it *is* largely the former. Come back ASAP, Roger – but only when you’re fully fit!

      1. We saw – again – Djoko’s gift saving breakpoints vs those (Thiem, Roger) who really press him. How he does this – who can tell? Is it some special candle spirit fit for that? Some special prayer/focus? Some unique adrenalin, trained by his hard past during war-time? Who finds the solution may have the answer how to beat him????

  6. Hey guys, since there’s a lull in proceedings around now, I wanted to ask you a question.

    Did any of you closely follow Ruans blog before his switch? The reason I ask is because I occasionally check out the posts on it, and noticed that around June 2015 he just cliff dives from Federer to Djokovic. Seems far too stupid a speed for a proper switch, and it makes me think something must have happened.

      1. J, there’s still a link to his blog from this site. Considering his blog is 99.1% anti-Federer I’d imagine it would be confusing for those not familiar with Ruan.

        He also compared Fed to Hillary Clinton, Lol XD

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