As we close in on the final stages of Indian Wells this weekend, our Follow-Up Friday is here to shed a little light on all the social media happenings occurring over the past few days.
It has been an emotional week for World No. 1 Serena Williams; the American returned to the BNP Paribas Open held in Indian Wells after a 14-year boycott. Her entrance onto the very court that hosted a tirade of racial abuse in the spring of 2001 saw a very different crowd reception, as Williams wiped away expected floods of tears.
The nerves showed as Williams battled with her emotions to claim a 7-5, 7-5 victory over the unconventional Monica Niculescu. On-court antics aside, this was a quite moment for the tennis world:
Kevin Fischer (@Kfish_WTA) March 14, 2015
Tennis Photos (@tennis_photos) March 14, 2015
(@WTA) March 14, 2015
Journeywomen & Juniors
Indian Wells wasn’t so much a changing of the guard, but more a resurgence of the unexpected. Take grass court genius, Germany’s Sabine Lisicki. Riding a 0-4 W/L in main draws heading into Indian Wells, she catches fire to take out defending champion, Flavia Pennetta, and reach the semifinals.
Speaking of the Italian, Pennetta had won just four matches this year, herself – the most recent a thumping to the tune of 6-1, 6-1 in Doha to Agnieszka Radwanska. Pennetta clung to her crown with the steeliest determination by defeating World No. 2 Maria Sharapova for the third straight time in the fourth round, and holding three match points against Lisicki on Thursday night.
BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 20, 2015
In an unexpected turn of events, Pennetta has now won three consecutive three-set matches against Sharapova and leads the h2h 3-2 from 0-2.—
Tumaini (@tumcarayol) March 18, 2015
Elsewhere, the young guns stole all the other headlines. On the men’s side, an all-Aussie duel between 22-year-old Bernard Tomic and 18-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis showed off the next generation’s exciting potential. The higher ranked Tomic ultimately came out on top after a two hour 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 scoreline.
In the women’s draw Kokkinakis’ fellow 18-year-old, Belinda Bencic, fought gallantly against a resurgent Jelena Jankovic in the fourth round, as well – one of the most high quality matches of the week. America’s Sloane Stephens found a rare vein form this week, nearly toppling compatriot Serena Williams on Center Court. Ukrainian 20-year-old Elina Svitolina was a set away from halting Timea Bacsinzky’s 15 match win streak. Alas, though all three showed flashes of brilliance, the youngsters ultimately went out to their more experienced opponents.
Kevin Fischer (@Kfish_WTA) March 17, 2015
Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) March 19, 2015
TENNIS.com (@Tennis) March 19, 2015
Indian Wells Wasteland
There hasn’t been too much high quality tennis to rave about this week. Slower than slow courts have resulted in erratic play from even the most seasoned of players. With erratic play comes truly hideous statistics.
Who was the worst of the week?
(@TennisTV) March 18, 2015
HOLY CRAP. Bouchard: 25W 74 UFE Tsurenko: 24 W 59 UFE.—
Courtney Nguyen (@FortyDeuceTwits) March 18, 2015
(@TennisTV) March 20, 2015
Roger’s Respect for Timea
Earlier this week Roger Federer spoke out about 2015’s high-flying Timea Bacsinzky. Her compatriot was full of praise for her story and rise up the rankings:
Federer praises Timea Bacsinszky, says he's started watching her recently and is looking forward to her match vs. Serena.—
Chris Skelton (@ChrisSkelton87) March 18, 2015
Federer talking about Bacsinszky's win streak. He seems to know everything tennis related.—
Ramesh (@zbrain) March 19, 2015
Tennis Photos (@tennis_photos) March 18, 2015
"Federer is still happy as a kid every time he lifts up a trophy or wins a match. He's definitely an inspiration." - Timea Bacsinszky.—
LetsTalkTennis (@letstalktennis1) March 01, 2015
Who, pray tell, is running the official Abierto Mexicano Twitter account? In a hilarious turn of events, the outlet has been live-commentating, reporting post-match and engaging in a few retweets during Indian Wells, unashamedly dishing out their opinions and responding to tennis journalists.
Good luck getting Dimipova back next year, guys…
Abierto Mexicano (@AbiertoTelcel) March 18, 2015
I'm not sure tournament accounts should be having these kinds of hot takes..... http://t.co/KCAmfUlcVy—
Victoria Chiesa (@vrcsports) March 20, 2015
Newly-retired Wayne Odesnik has been handed a 15-year ban this week following a doping bust. This is the second time the American has been caught out after he was found in possession of HGH in 2010. ATP players were quick to share their thoughts on social media, and quite rightly lacked any sympathy for Odesnik – Andy Murray and Andy Roddick being the two most vocal regarding the situation:
Bye bye Wayne... Good riddance—
Andy Murray (@andy_murray) March 18, 2015
Andrew Eichenholz (@andrewikesports) March 18, 2015
Roger, post-match on Odesnik..."If you cheat, you're going to get caught. That's the moral of the story." http://t.co/kBR7zg5IFo—
Howard Bryant (@hbryant42) March 19, 2015
What was your favorite moment on social media this week? Sound off in the comments!