BNP Paribas Open @ Indian Wells, CA - "5th Slam"...

Indian Wells - Desert Tennis Oasis
Updated Info for 2019:

So if flying half-way around the world to watch the Aussie Open in January wasn't enough..

I have decided to check out the Indian Wells BNP Paribas tournament again for the 3rd time. It will be the most times at any Masters 100 event. We will revisit in 2019 for a quick preview to our fans to see what has improved and any changes you should know about before heading here!

There are still some tickets left for the 1st and 2nd week of Indian Wells tennis tickets onlineI always like to make sure they are Ticketmaster verified and guaranteed before buying. 

Brad Gilbert offers a few jokes and
predictions at Corona's "Beer with Brad"

Tennis Pros' Annual Reunion

I'm glad I got to do some photographs and videos of the tournament (more below)

Also while meeting some terrific fans and tennis stars up close and personal =)

Top Players' Tournament

Mayleen Reamy
from Tennis Channel
The Top 49 out of 50 showed up in 2013! You get to walk right up to the players practicing.

At matches, you get to watch from close seats that you would otherwise pay over a thousand dollars to see at the US Open*

Tennis Warehouse & Freebie Swag

  • TennisWarehouse offered some play-testing new rackets on their demo court.
  • Emirates Airlines had some cool looking seat cushions at the giveaway.
  • The Thai Tourism Tent offered some free 15 min back rubs *very nice after a long day of tennis*

West Coast Road Trip

I had unused frequent flyer miles I needed to burn before they I flew to San Diego and drove 2 hours over the very scenic, snow-feathered Rt. 74 (Pines to Palms Hwy) to get there. The Big Horn winding roads area looks like something straight out of a racing video game.

Got to stay at a great AirBnB place that included 2 private tennis courts and pool plus hot tub. It was a very short ride to downtown, 15 mins to the Tennis Stadium, and some hiking trails near Joshua Tree too.

The host, Brendan was awesome with a lot of Indian Wells knowledge and there were a couple other tennis fans staying in the other room too, so it was definitely a great place to stay (much better value and cozier than a hotel room).

Indian Wells Media: Flickr PicturesYouTube Highlight Videos

Indian Wells Tennis Garden
Known as the "5th Slam" (article by Rob Perez) so we wanted to make sure our "Grand Fan Slam" was truly complete and coverage now includes (2 out of 9) Masters Series ATP 1000 Events (my Madrid / Spain Trip and the Nadal vs Federer 2009 Finals Pictures)

It contains the 2nd largest tennis-specific stadium in the world - 2nd only to the mammoth Arthur Ashe Stadium (where you get a great view of the NYC skyline) and feel like you could actually get a nose-bleed if you climbed all the way up to row ZZ!

The Indian Wells Tennis Garden has some of the best practice court viewing for tennis players up close. I would say it is probably the closest you will ever be able to get down a near court level view of the players just 10-15 feet away.

General Parking was one thing that could definitely be improved with the 2000+ spots at the new grass lot as the way it was this year.
If you got there 1-2 hours after opening, it felt like Rush Hour traffic and getting in line of cattle to go all the way around to a free parking spot.

How to Tournament Tennis Play at Indian Wells, CA?

International Team Tennis Championships
(Invitational Tournament @ Monterey Country Club)

Playing Tennis in the Desert -
Monterey Country Club 

Dan and Karl run an annual Tennis Tournament during the Indian Wells pro tournament in early-mid March every year. Dan's friend Jo from Michigan actually was nice enough to invite me to play as a sub on his team.

It was a beautiful location, and Dan does an awesome job throwing the party's dinner party (at his private pad with his family) and doing the Herculean task of managing all the logistics on the 15 court facility. Great event, highly recommended!

Tickets Giveaway to Fans

We were able to giveaway to a couple lucky fans of some freebies too!

Just like at the Aussie Open and US Open, we offer our loyal supporters a way to enjoy great tennis seats, even when the box office is officially sold out =)

Hint: We use TennisNow (TicketMaster Verified) Tickets for Tickets re-sell from other fans. They have tickets for most tennis events:

Canadian Fans - watching Nadal practice
USTA and WTT Leagues
Another great way to play at the Tennis Garden is to compete in the USTA Nationals Tri-Level competition or the WTT (World Team Tennis) Rec League which gets to actually play on the same (practice) courts that the pros used during the tournament.

The new Stadium will a 19,000 sq ft structure with 8,000 seats (roughly half the number of the main stadium). Right now the best general admissions seats are probably on Stadium 2 and 3 for the marquee matches.

However, with record-breaking attendance this year - it was especially hard to navigate around the large crowds on the middle weekend when both Saturday and Sunday morning sessions were completely sold out.

Indian Wells vs Miami Open Tennis Tournament? March Masters Tennis - California vs Florida?

Indian Wells, CA or Miami, FL

The First two ATP Masters 1000 Events of the USA occur just a couple weeks apart. Although these are both offer top tier point for the top tennis pros on the men and women's tour, they are also very polar in many ways. Nearly all of the Top 50 players in the world will attend both events.

West Coast vs East Coast

I have friends on both sides of the fence, some prefer one over the other. If you live on the West Coast of the US and a major tennis fan, then Indian Wells is an ideal spot to check out. If you are on the East Coast and especially in Florida, then the Miami Open is great to experience.

Quick Comparison of the two March Masters:

BNP Paribas Open

"5th Grand Slam"
My Trip & Team Tourney Review
HD Pictures | Discount Tickets

  • Excellent Practice Court Views (at eye level)
  • Premium Facilities and Show Court Stadiums
  • Low Humidity, Dry Heat
  • Outdoors: Hiking, Golf, Tennis
  • West Coast

  • Expensive Location! Avg Hotels @ ~$200-$350/nt
  • 2 Hours Drive from nearest major airport (San Diego or LA) not counting PSP
  • Less Nightlife

    Indian Wells is a bit more of the rich, active retiree destination - even most of the volunteers are over 55. Quite a different energy level than the younger Spring Break crowd in Miami.

    On the other hand, if you like a more laid back atmosphere with more outdoor scenery, then Southern California is perfect. Also Joshua Tree and Coachella are both relatively close by.

Miami Open

"South American Slam"
Trip Review and Tips | HD Pictures | Tickets

  • Less crowded overall
  • Courts are all close to each other
  • Cheaper Ticket Packages Available
  • Miami Beach Town
  • East Coast

  • VERY Humid with chances of heavy, quick thunderstorms (*run for cover*)
  • Night matches are very limited (main stadium only...~2 matches max)
  • Parking is very limited or expensive / shuttles far away at the tournament (average 15-20 mins)
  • Note: in 2019 they will move to the new Hard Rock stadium where the Dolphins play*

There is more of a Latin / South American crowd at the tournament and around Miami. The fans are generally younger than at Indian Wells. The evening atmosphere is the "seen and be seen" South Beach fare. Usually, there are some large music/techno festivals held during this time of the year.

Overview and Summary

Fans Comfort: IW, much more enjoyable and cooler during the day
Overall Trip Cost: MIA, has slightly cheaper options available on the whole

Main Stadium Quality: IW (Miami is more open and central) / IW has better box seats
Secondary Show Courts: IW (*more reserved stadiums mean more ticket costs)
Practice Court Views: IW (Miami has lots of mesh fences between fans and players)

Food at Tournament: MIA (lots of cuisine choices, whereas IW has more shops/food off-site plus a few new fancy restaurants on the grounds)

Souvenirs: MIA - large store with merchandise in the shade with A/C;
Fan Zone Area: Tied; Jumbotron at MIA, Better lounge chairs at IW
Swag / Freebies: MIA, more fun gifts; IW has Tennis-Warehouse free racket demo court*

Daytime activities: IW
Nightlife activities: MIA

Overall Winner - Indian Wells

Indian Wells: A-
Miami: B+

If you've been to one or both of these tournaments, please leave a comment below!

50 years of Citi Open Tennis / Best memories

Open Era of Tennis in Washington DC (1968 - 2018)

This year marks a very special milestone for Open Era Tennis.

I've known the author of this article, Nik, as one of the biggest tennis fans and a "legend of DC/VA Tennis". He was the one that introduced me to the Legg Mason Classic over a decade ago and shared amazing tips (best viewing seats and where to park) plus some of the most unexpected stories of the game and its players.

Citi Open - JC Tennis / Tennis Bargains Media Team

Written by Nik Subramanian

The 2018 Citi Open Tennis tournament in Washington DC starts on July 28. This will be the 50th edition, and the Players Lounge kicks off the event with food, drinks, and music on Fri July 27 at 7.30pm
The latest finish JC and I witnessed was a 2:45AM finish with Dmitry Tursunov in ‘06
after which he gladly obliged fans (including us) with a chit chat and pictures. 

2018 Citi Open - Preview Highlights

Top ATP players at this year’s event include former number one Andy Murray, 3-time slam winner Stan Wawrinka, US Open, Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson and Wimbledon semi-finalist John Isner. Top WTA players including world number two Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephenson (ranked # 3) will headline the women's draw.

Look out for next-generation stars like Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov, Hyeon Chung, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, Naomi Osaka and local lad Frances Tiafoe.

Shapovalov, Chung, Tsitsipas, and Rublev have a “future top 10” ranking written all over them. While one should expect Kyrgios might disappoint, depending on which way the wind is blowing when he’s scheduled to play, he has an entertaining and explosive game, and if he’s drawn to face someone that he perceives as a challenge, it will be an entertaining match.

Looking Back 15 Years at Rock Creek Tennis in DC

 Nik and Safin in 2006, profile pic on Wikipedia
Nik and Safin, 2006 Edition, Photo by JC
Cropped photo now lives on the official Marat Safin Wikipedia page
Brad Gilbert coached Andy Murray in 2006 at Legg Mason, photo by JC
Featured on Brad Gilbert's Wikipedia Page
I’ve attended the Citi Open every year since 2004, for the last 15 years. The first year was devoid of “stars” due to the conflicting Athens Olympics but was memorable nevertheless, as watching any tennis pro in the top 500 is a great learning experience. Still that year, we had Mark Philippoussis, Jonas Bjorkman, Alex Corretja and a bunch of players only seen on television up until that point.

One of the highlights of the 2005 tournament for me was seeing an idol, Andre Agassi, up-close. The intensity of Andre’s practice session combined with the pace and accuracy of his groundstrokes was awe-inspiring.

Watching Agassi practice with Andy Murray in 2006 was another great highlight. Murray’s ability to absorb and redirect all the pace from Andre’s groundstrokes was a precursor of Murray’s success to come.

3 Important tips for Watching the US Open Live!

Want to see the top tennis players in the world? This is the 50th US Open!
Federer and Nadal will be in NYC at the biggest Tennis Stadium in the World!

If you're a real tennis fan in the USA, you gotta go see the US Open at least ONCE in your lifetime!  NYC Summer fun!

It's your chance to catch a glimpse of the Grand Slam winners Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal!
Below, I show you how to get the best US Open experience and tickets...

Subscribe to get all my tips sent to your email (in bite-size nuggets of wisdom). So you can read it over later and take with you to the US Open! Free US Open Ticket Discounts and Tips.

My US Open experience
I have personally attended over a decade's worth of Grand Slam tennis (all four). Been to NYC dozens of times in my life, with family and friends to see the best matches.

The sport has given me an insider's view at all the Tennis Majors as a tennis fan, player, coach, and now as a sports media photographer and journalist.

Now it's your turn to go without breaking the bank! Get 2-for-1 tickets from Ticket Bargains.

Helping Tennis Fans see their favorite stars
I want to share my experiences and tips with others to get the best experience possible for new fans. Because I get asked in person all the time, it was just easier to write it down.

As a USPTA Professional - I'm committed to making the US Open Experience fun, affordable for ALL Americans. While coporate greed is causing ticket prices to skyrocket, I want to make sure the true fans have a better chance at watching these "Sold Out" matches in real life.

Tickets are still being bought and sold by fans, look here in July-August.
Even these so-called "sold out" sessions will still have ones available!  The Labor Day Holiday Weekend Tickets get sold more quickly. Prices and new tickets are updated daily, so it helps to bookmark and check back!

Our Facebook Updates keep you in the loop about upcoming schedule and player changes.