The BNP Paribas Open is in full swing in Indian Wells and while the tournament is great for the local economy and big-time tennis fans, someone has to say it: watching professional tennis in person is, ummm, not fun.
Now look, this is not at all a swipe at the tennis tournament or the players. They do a great job with the BNP Paribas. It’s one of the biggest events of the year in the Coachella Valley, it brings in a shit ton of money to the economy, and year after year, The Tennis Garden is upgraded and somehow becomes even more amazing (though it would be nice if they brought back concerts like they used to do…RIP, Tom Petty).
The thing is, the actual watching of the tennis matches is just plain awful. Did you buy a pair of tickets? There was no reason to. You are not allowed to say a damn thing to anyone while the matches are going on. Sure, a baseball player can step into the batters’ box and face a 100 mph fastball coming right at his head with the crowd chatting it up, but tennis players need complete silence the whole match, except maybe, if you’re lucky, an occasional small smattering of applause. Seriously, the library has more noise.
It’s actually nerve racking. You know how awful those times are where you are sitting in a chair and you move and it makes the fart noise and then you try to make that noise again to prove you were just shifting and not sharting? Well, tennis is worse than that. The whole time you are there, you are worried about coughing or tooting or sneezing or moving in your chair and making the fart noise because if you do, you will ruin John Isner’s fucking serve and everyone dressed in all white with a visor will evil eye you the rest of the day. It’s awful.
Oh, and don’t hydrate no matter how hot it gets out there – because if you have to get up to take a leak, you may never be allowed to go back to it. You see, there is an all-volunteer team of angry old ushers and they will keep you in the tunnels for freakin’ ever if they have their way. I seriously have no idea what the policy is on when they actually allow you to come back to your seat – but, trust me, you would be better off just driving home to pee and just watching the rest of the match on TV.
It’s not all bad. The grounds of the Tennis Gardens can be cool and you usually end up running into people you know because just about everyone in town ends up at the tennis tournament at some point, either to work it or to post on Instagram that they were at the tennis tournament because “Did everyone see I was at the tennis tournament!!!!”.
I always find it fun to ask people I run into who they are looking forward to seeing and hearing them stammer for five minutes without being able to name an actual tennis player other than the Williams Sisters. Try this and if someone can do it, just give them a high five and move on. Just make sure it’s a quiet high five or you might ruin John Isner’s fucking serve!!!
Bottom line: for hardcore tennis fans and the ecomony, the BNP Paribas Open is fantastic – and good for them and I really hope they enjoy.
As for everyone else, tennis is boring and you know it.