Venue: The Home Depot Center is definitely a great facility. There is one way for everyone to get to their seats (how egalitarian) and the space was very compact. My only beefs: the VIP suites look like guard towers and the Tennis Center is only accessible by freeways. Uhm, has anyone heard of rush hour traffic? No wonder the stands were empty at 7. Tournament organizers should really consider how spectators get to the event. I suggest setting up park-and-rides. The East West Bank Classic had gluttonous amounts of parking but no access by public transportation. That’s another for the green file.
Wrap-up: Chris and I got more than we bargained for at yesterday’s visit to the East West Bank Classic. The two outer courts (plus all the practice courts) were pretty much just open to the public by 3:00 p.m. We saw Flavia Pennetta and Maria Kirilenko hitting on one court as Sharapova (with Yuri) drilled at another. Jelena Jankovic finished up her session as we got there, and I sat courtside while Chucky worked on her serve (for a doubles match later that day with Dani Hantuchova). They beat the Chinese team of Peng Shuai and Yan Zhi).
FYI: I’ve been running into a bunch of people confused about these Chinese names. In their case, Peng and Yan are the surnames. but in Chinese you always say last name first.
Other sightings: Shaughnessy lost to Azarenka, Sugiyama lost to Safarova, and the team of Mirza and (a surprisingly untacky) Mattek beat the team of Krajicek and Husarova. I don’t know what was going on with Michaella. She was totally dead weight yesterday.
Night match was Sharapova winning when Eleni Daniilidou retired with breathing problems. (I hope she’s okay.) After that, Ana Ivanovic, wearing her pink adidas summer hardcourt outfit, beat a scrappy Ashley Harkleroad. There were a couple of good points in that match, but the rallies during the Sharapova/Daniilidou match were significantly more entertaining.
(photo via Irwin Seating)