Have I mentioned that I'm a huge professional tennis fan? Well, I finally made it out to Indian Wells this year after eleven years of dreaming about going. Four friends and I just got back from two days in the desert at what I can only think of as "Tennis Woodstock." Thousands of genteel, well-behaved tennis addicts sipping Bloody Mary's instead of smoking pot, and sitting in hushed silence watching young athletes grunt and smack their rackets at neon yellow balls.
It was fabulous.
But most fabulous of all was that I kept getting chances to see my all time favorite tennis player Martina Hingis! Yesterday, we just happened to walk by a practice court on which she was warming up. Then, we got to see her play a good strong second round match, her opponent of sad memory was dispatched nicely. On to round three! Then, we walked in to the grounds today at 12:15 to see a small sign that Martina would be signing autographs. So, I made my way over, and the next thing I knew, I was first in a line that grew hundreds of avid fans deep.
While Martina signed my poster, I thanked her for always working hard, and told her that she was the most fun to watch. She chuckled and smiled. My friend John has it all on his camera....you know, just in case my new friend Martina wants a commemorative photo of what I'm sure was an epoch moment for her...
Here is Martina waiting for serves from warm-up partner.
Here is new tennis expert and friend Anamaria, in the foreground, with the great Hingis in the background.
More shots of Martina showing great warm-up form....
Martina, in between sets of her second round smack down.
Martina being interviewed by a fawning announcer after her second round victory.
Martina signing autographs.
Friends of Barb in between sets at a match with the men's world number two, Rafael Nadal.
Somewhere down there in the blue and white is Nadal.
Oh, there he is, serving out of the frame.