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I went to the BNP Paribas Open in 2019, and here’s what I thought.

Updated: Nov 5, 2021


In a nutshell, I thought it was an incredible weekend! The great thing about this tournament for me and my travel companions was that we were able to drive. There's something so nice about skipping the airport all together, especially with the mask mandate and continued COVID-19 precautions. We had a fun road trip, laughing and teasing one another, munching on gas station snacks, and even stopped for Jack-in-the-Box tacos! (Gross, right!)


The BNP Paribas Open is a great "starter" tournament if you've never been to a professional tournament before.

We drove in on a Thursday and bought tickets for the weekend day sessions, of the first week. Like I've mentioned before, I like to go early in the tournament for two reasons; the tickets are cheaper, and there are SO MANY good matches going on!


Our first stop was The Kimpton Rowan Hotel in downtown Palm Springs to check in. This hotel is very chic, modern, and in a fabulous location. It's not really a "tennis" hotel, but quite honestly, I don't mind. When we aren't staying for a long time, actually playing tennis gets pushed aside. I like being close to art, dining, and shopping for a short weekend trip. We'll be staying here again when we go back this week. Below are photos of a hotel suite with stunning views, the lobby, and the rooftop bar. All photos are from the Rowan website.



While researching for my Palm Springs city guide, I came across lots of great hotel options. I plan to visit some of them to check out the vibe when I'm in town. Keep an eye out for my wrap up.


After a long week, and a long drive we walked over to Revel Public House for drinks and to watch the night matches on their various big screen tv's. Below is a screenshot from the Revel website. All I remember is they had Julian Black & Blue Hard Cider from Julian, California (just outside of San Diego), which I love!




After getting a good night's sleep, we grabbed breakfast at Wilma & Freidas (walking distance from Rowan), went on a little art walk, and popped into H&M to buy a jacket. Which reminds me, it can get windy and chilly in the evenings, so bring layers.


Off to Indian Wells Tennis Garden. We drove our car to the venue. The parking situation was a little crazy, and very backed up. We're going to Uber back and forth this time. If you do decide to drive, give yourself plenty of time. Once you're inside, it's like Disneyland for tennis players! Beautifully kept, great vendors and gear shops. The central area has a nice lawn where people would sit and eat, stretch after sitting through long matches, and just enjoy the shade. They had a really cool walk through exhibit with great photo ops. Here are a few shots from the grounds.



The Tennis! The tennis was incredible! Before going into Stadium 1, we walked around for a while and watched some of the matches on the smaller courts. Although I didn't really know who they were at the time, we watched a great match between Jessica Pegula and Camila Georgi. They've both had incredible success this past year!


Then inside we saw so many great players. One of my favorites, Garbiñe Muguruza, Sloane Stephens, Felix AA, Steve Johnson, Taylor Fritz, Tsisipas, Venus, and the highlight of the entire trip (for me at least) was watching Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka play the night session! I know, I said I don't like night sessions, and I don't, but it's Serena! I wanted to see her live before she retires and it was one of the best matches she's played in a long time.



I can't tell you how excited I am to be headed back to Indian Wells for this special October edition of the open! This year, I'm going to my first ever adult tennis camp, The Gigi Method Doubles Camp. I can't wait to go and share what I learn with you!


XO,

Val

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