Indian Wells fashion: the players

Indian Wells fashion doesn’t generate the same excitement as fashion does at a Grand Slam event. The BNP Paribas isn’t a tournament where the pros’ sponsors supply them with new outfits to generate buzz and drive sales of their merchandise when TV viewers buy online or visit their local tennis shops to refresh their gear. However, I still enjoyed seeing the player fashions up close, and a few of them were even sporting new outfits.

Indian-Wells-Fashion_Jankovic

Jelena Jankovic’s Fila Heritage Carwash Skirt

One of the most talked-about fashion statements was a new skirt design by BNP Paribas Open sponsor Fila, for Jelena Jankovic. Dubbed “the carwash dress,” owing to its front fabric strips resembling the felt runners in brushless carwashes, the skirt or dress (it comes in two versions) is one of the more innovative tennis fashions this year. When the player is standing still, the fabric strips look like pleats in a cheerleader dress. But when she moves, you can see they are strips of fabric. Thankfully, Fila put these fabric strips only in the front — the back of the skirt has neither slits nor pleats. It looks great on Jelena, but I’m not sure the carwash skirt is a look I’d want for myself.

 

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Indian Wells Tennis: a newbie’s guide

I just got back from three days at the Indian Wells tennis tournament, or as it’s officially called, the BNP Paribas Open. It was my first year to attend, and I’m already planning to go back next year. This post gives my newbie’s guide to the tournament and why I think it makes an excellent getaway for tennis lovers.

 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells

The Indian Wells tournament, owned by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, is an ATP Master’s 1000 event as well as a WTA tournament, and nearly all the top pros participate. It’s a great place to see your favorite tennis pros in action while you enjoy typically great weather in the Palm Springs area. A contender for the so-called “Fifth Slam,” Indian Wells offers tennis fans a chance to see their favorite pros in a smaller venue that nonetheless has great “creature comforts.”

Getting There

You can fly into the Palm Springs airport, which is about 20 minutes from Indian Wells, but a lot of people go through Ontario, as the prices are much cheaper. And, since Ontario is served by Southwest, there’s more flexibility if you need to change your flight (for example, to stay one more day and see just a few more matches). The Ontario airport is about 1.5 hours away from Indian Wells. Once in the Palm Springs area, there are plenty of hotels in every price category. Your hotel may even offer a shuttle bus to the tournament venue, which will help you avoid traffic and parking lots that are sometimes far away from the tennis courts.

The Indian Wells Tennis Garden

The IW Tennis Garden is spacious but walk-able. The main stadium lies at one end, and the food court at the other end. They plan to build a second stadium next year. The ground-breaking for Stadium 2 occurred while I was there, in fact. Plans look exciting, and improvements will likely generate even more interest in this tournament — at least that’s what Ellison and others are likely counting on.

Indian Wells Tennis_groundbreaking

Show Courts and Practice Courts

There are eight show courts at Indian Wells, and early in the tournament you can see great matches on all of them. Later on there are fewer matches, so they don’t use all the courts all the time. Until the construction of the new stadium, you have been able to enter the tournament grounds with your Stadium 1 ticket, then wander to any of the other courts on a general admission basis. This policy will still be in effect next year, although since Stadium 2 will have reserved seating, there may not be general admission spots there in the future.   [Read more…]

Losing sucks. What happened to the “undo” button?

By any name and in any form, losing is a drag. Our family experienced this yesterday, when my son’s water polo team lost a playoff match to a lower-seeded team — an opponent that, on another day, they probably would have defeated handily. Post-game analysis of why they lost might be useful to the younger players, but to the seniors, not so much. It was their last game together as varsity water polo teammates from their high school. This was not how they wanted to go out.

 

not loser sign - losing

 

Whether it’s a water polo playoff, a USTA match, or Nadal losing to the 100th-ranked Rosol at Wimbledon, losing never feels good — especially losing a match you know you should have won. My husband remarked to me on the way home, “I just wish we could rewind it.” I agreed. I woke up this morning thinking, if only they were playing the match today. But they aren’t. It’s over.

And that’s how losing goes. Sometimes we lose because of factors within our control. And the consequences for losing can be much greater than the outcome of a sports game. Which one of us hasn’t regretted something we said, something we did, a choice we made? And what if the stakes for our decisions were high — say, the loss of a friendship, a business deal, maybe even a marriage?

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US Open 2012 men’s fashion: tried and true

The top guys at the US Open are rocking the red, white and blue theme in their clothes this year. That’s great: it’s the US Open, after all, and our national colors are perfect for tennis garb. Plus they look good on just about anyone. Maybe folks are in a patriotic mood after the Olympics and just want to participate in the good vibes of spending a couple of weeks in New York?

While men’s outfits look fine, nothing really stands out. Of course we don’t have Rafa in town — we are missing his typically bright colors, “go for broke” style of play and personal charisma. But let’s see what we DO have.

Roger Federer

US Open 2012_Roger Federer

Always looking fabulous, Roger pulls off the classic American colors perfectly. Sometimes he uses a white shirt, and sometimes the dark blue.  I like the dark shirt/dark shorts combo best. Is Nike’s swoosh getting bigger?

 

Novak Djokovic

US Open 2012_NovakDjokovic

Several months into his new partnership with Uniqlo, the big Japanese sportswear apparel company, Djokovic is still wearing versions of more or less the same outfit. More red, white and blue, just like he did at the French Open and at the Olympics. I guess the uniformity of color could be helpful: if all his clothes match each other, it’s easy to put together ensembles. So far, however, I’m not seeing the innovation I would have hoped for from this partnership — Nole’s outfits are boring compared to his game.   [Read more…]

Olympics bring color to Wimbledon: Part II, the guys

Men’s Olympic Tennis Fashion

Yesterday I gave you my impressions of some of the top women player’s outfits. Now it’s the men’s turn. First, I have to disclose I was as disappointed as anyone that Nadal dropped out of the Olympics due to an undisclosed injury. Or at least that’s what he said. But could it be that he was not going to be caught dead in one of Spain’s uniforms? In case you missed it, field hockey player Alex Fabregas tweeted this photo of Spain’s opening ceremony get-up. Apparently Russian designer Bosco provided Spain the uniforms for free — at least the country’s current economic woes can’t be blamed on what they spent for Olympic garb.

Spaniards aside, most of the guys are looking good for the Olympics — adding a dash of color livens up their tennis fashion considerably after the Wimbledon whites. And, since they have to wear their country’s colors, we are seeing lots of standard combinations. In my opinion, this is generally a good thing: guys look better on-court when their sponsors don’t try to one-up each other with outlandish color combos.

Roger looks fabulous as always, with the classic tennis polo and discrete Swiss cross symbol on the chest.

 

Djokovic’s new sponsor, Uniqlo, has stepped up its design for him since the French Open and Wimbledon. They’re still not going for a super eye-catching look — but maybe they are letting Nole do that with his racquet. However, his blue shirt with striped collar is sharp-looking.  The Serbian flag on the chest is also a nice touch.

 

Tsonga’s bleu, rouge et blanche outfit by Adidas works well, whether he is running around the court or lying down on it. Don’t know whether the boxer waistband is part of his official look or not.

 

Isner’s blue shirt by Lacoste looks good with the dark navy or black shorts — it’s something different, as most of the guys wearing blue shirts pair them with white shorts. As our highest-ranked American male singles player (11), let’s hope he goes deep in the tournament and medals for the USA.

 

My favorite American duo, Bob and Mike Bryan, look great in their K-Swiss shirts with the bold red, navy and white slanting stripe-effect across the fronts.  Maybe the dark shorts are an American thing? No matter, they look strong and so does their game.

 

The “Brit kit” worn by Andy Murray was widely publicized prior to the Olympics, perhaps since Great Britain is the host country. Adidas went all-out in fashioning a shirt with colors and stripes reminiscent of the Union Jack — but of course, updated and way cooler. Love the coordination with the sweatbands.

It’s nice that the Olympics take place in the summer when one’s schedule typically slows down. But seriously: I’m sitting inside, glued to ladies doubles on my iPad when I could be out enjoying a perfect sunny day. At least NBC offers highlight videos and more information than I could ever absorb about the various Olympic sports — not to mention all the specialty websites and blogs out there if I want more commentary. So I could get up and go for a walk now, then watch the video later.

Our house, however, is a veritable sports-fest: TVs and computers going whenever people are home, sometimes with folks watching together and sometimes with us watching favorite sports on our own.

Enjoy your own couch-potato hours, and chime in with a comment on your favorite Olympic sport or fashion!