• Barbara J MacFarlane, MD

Tennis Trek to the Desert.

Every March brings the annual trek to the desert to watch the best tennis ever. This year, many of the usual top male players will still be out for injuries - Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka to name a few. Novak Djokovic is returning after a prolonged time away following injury and it is questionable how well he will play. From the outset, it looks like Federer should once again make a deep run and is the favorite to win the mens.

Indian Wells is the best. There is nothing like the dry desert air watching tennis in Stadium One. I make the trek myself to the desert along with the other attendees from all over the world. Players and spectators alike see Indian Wells as their favorite tournament. It truly is like a grand slam with a causal desert feel.

Best tennis, best relaxation.

You couldn't pick a better location for tennis. The weather will be perfect with never a chance of rain. The after match dinning out and relaxing by the pool or playing a set or two yourself has endless availability. A true vacation for the spectators and a great place for the players to relax off court.

The Greats will be there with families in tow.

Roger Federer and Serena Williams are both playing with the pleasure of having their families with them. Federer is the number one favorite to be the winner of the mens and Serena is beyond determined and the last time she was beyond determined she won a Grand Slam while pregnant in the searing Australian heat. The tournament is big for both of them. It will be nice to see both Federer's and Serena's families there for support.

Serena determination.

When Serena is determined nothing can stop her. Definitely, several players will try to block her way including oldest rival Venus Williams along with Simona Halep and many others. If Serena is back in top form, no one stands a chance. If she is close, to top form, there is going to be a crowded battle for the crown. The womens side of the tournament will be interesting to see unfold.

Federer needs to keep his points.

With Rafael Nadal sitting out of tennis now, it is important for Roger to win and keep his points. By doing so, he can stay number one for a very long time this tennis season. That in itself is quite amazing. It has been even rumored he is contemplating playing the French Open. Strangely enough, if Nadal is not in the best form to win the French Open, then Federer could be considered one of the top favorites and perhaps a more favored winner than at Wimbledon where the big hitters still have several months to improve. I think we are in for an interesting ride this year!

Relax and enjoy Indian Wells Tennis. See you there in the desert sun!


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