I had the pleasure to work with a USTA staff member at the 2.5 Nationals on Thursday. Boy, if you've never been to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, you've missed out. These are easily the most beautiful tennis courts I have ever seen. I know, La Costa Resort & Spa is nice, Rancho Valencia Resort is even nicer with all the citrus trees and the beautifully landscaped facility. But the courts at the Tennis Garden are just perfect. They are newly surfaced, it seems, and large, many with stadium seating attached. Too bad they only have 21 courts, so they can only accommodate the 2.5's and the 4.5 seniors. For the bigger National events (3.0's, 3.5's, 4.0's) a facility needs at least 25 courts because of the sheer number of players.
Tennis is the only sport I know where people come together like this, for several days of competition in a team. All friendly and social, ready for playing during the day and partying in the evening. The women are all dressed in the latest tennis fashion, most teams with team colors or identical outfits. Even the men, who nomally couldn't care less what they look like on court, are beginning to come dressed in some uniform fashion. Bravo!
The level of tennis is a expected, only teams with players at the top of their level can come to the Nationals, and many are a little above 2.5. All in all a great event, very well organized by the USTA. It left me with a feeling that being part of this tennis community is worth it. I am looking forward to Oct. 18-21, when I'll be working the tournament desk at the 4.5 Senior Nationals. The quality of tennis should be outstanding!
Come out to the desert that weekend, if you have time. You won't regret it. Maybe we can set up some tennis together?