I am home from hot sunshine, palm trees and amazing live tennis to dreary clouds, rain, evergreen trees, and watching tennis like everyone else on a screen instead of the incredible experience live in the stadium. Almost immediately upon walking in the door I fired up my DVR to fast forward past early matches and get to the beginning of the one I had been thinking about all day - Federer/Wawrinka. Not knowing how his back would be, especially after not showing up for his practice the day before (more on that later), for a while it seemed like it was going to be a straightforward win. However, serving for the match Roger suddenly seemed to get tight and pretty much handed the game to Stan, who went on to take the second set. I really didn't know what was gong to happen after that; it really seemed like it could go either way, especially after Roger got frustrated with not being allowed to challenge one of his own serves that was out. Somehow he managed to hold it all together though, which Wawrinka didn't, ending the match with several errors and a break for 7-5 in the third for Fed.
It's hard to know how much his back issue was bothering Roger. His serving looked a lot more normal than it had the other night after the obvious injury. Surely it must have been a bit of a factor, however, and can't help but wonder, after three sets, how he will hold up for another match the very next day.
And what a match between Nadal and Gulbis. There was some amazing tennis going on there! I know everyone was wanting a Fed-Nadal quarter, which is what is going to happen, but I have to say I was cheering for Gulbis. What an incredible job he has done in the last few weeks. Hope he can keep it up. As for the Fed-Nadal match it's really difficult to know what to expect. I am certainly hoping for last year's semi rather than two years ago Miami, that's for sure!
Back to Federer's missed practice. I was very excited to watch one last practice, knowing I would be heading home the next day and it would be my last time to see him. I got to the practice court 45 minutes early and got the perfect seat. It would have been closer than I had ever been to him. All along, though, I couldn't help but wonder if he was actually going to show up, and as the minutes crept by I knew unfortunately it wasn't going to happen. Though I wasn't necessarily surprised, I certainly was very disappointed, as it would have been a tremendous last day for my 2013 Indian Wells experience. Even without that, however, it was a wonderful time and I got to have a lot of Federer highlights. I will try to post a few more pictures of my experience in the lull between Indian Wells and Miami, as I have quite a few more pictures I haven't put up. In the meantime, back to reality - work and trying to watch tennis in and around all the normal responsibilities of life.