deuce, love & ray-bans

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it’s not often that one experiences the perfect day. when the weather is ideal, the company is sublime and the memories shared leave a smile on your face so strong it accompanies you well into monday morning.

and yet, i managed to do just that yesterday during our annual family trip to the tennis gardens at indian wells for the bnp paribas open. clad in shorts(!), a straw hat, ray-bans and a few (hundred) layers of sunscreen, i joined my motley crew (all two of them, and yes, they are real motley) bright and early for the two-hour drive eastward. we arrived just shy of 11 a.m. and quickly found our way to court 7 for a match of european proportion. marcel granollers of spain was taking on my favorite german import, tommy haas. an early arrival ensured front-row seats in the second-tier which was perfect for picture taking as well as guaranteed the occasional “let’s go tommy” (complete with aggressive pump-up applause) encouragement would reach my beloved tennis player’s ears (and perhaps warrant a flirtatious wink? hey, a girl can dream). you know what else girls dream about? this bod.

look at those quads!

tommy, looking reflective between sets.

because despite the fact that he might as well be deemed ancient in professional tennis standards (he’s 33, folks, which all but qualifies him for the senior circuit), tommy is looking mighty fine these days. but good looks and a toned physique could only get him so far on sunday as he was taken down by the young spaniard in three sets (3-6, 6-2, 3-6). his loss did not come without a few awe-inspiring shots and well, a few more german expletives (just because you say it in another language doesn’t mean you’re getting off scott-free with that potty mouth, tommy). and though the outcome was not what i had hoped, the match itself was quite entertaining and the perfect way to kick off our time at the 2012 tournament.

following tommy’s loss, we headed over to the food pavillion for a bite to eat. and after inhaling our midday meals, we ventured over to the practice courts to see if we could spot a few of our favorites perfecting their swings.

it is important to note that as we passed by the grassy field that separates the entrance grounds from the main stadium, we passed by taylor dent (if you’re not a uber tennis fan, you may not know him as his stint on tour was pretty short lived, see below photo for reference), who was beating the heat of the day beneath the shade of the trees, family in tow. apparently, in addition to announcing his retirement in 2010, he and his wife, jennifer also welcomed a son, declan (i did not know this prior to seeing him yesterday with said toddler, but thanks to wikipedia, it has been confirmed). also, please do a search in google images for “taylor dent.” he makes the most awesome (and awesomely unattractive) faces during play. at any rate, retirement bodes taylor quite well. he was looking tanned, toned and well, really happy.

this is probably the most photogenic taylor has ever looked in a photograph.

with the highest temps of the day acting as the backdrop, there weren’t many players getting their practice on by 2:00 p.m. (i don’t blame them!) but we were able to spot one seeded suitor (at 6′ 9″, it’s wasn’t too difficult) as he took in a few practice shots before his doubles match later that afternoon. and though we weren’t able to get too terribly close to the american giant, momma’s photography skills proved better than your average bear as she managed to capture a few photos of john isner and his shirtless(woo hoo) lanky bod.

like a tall (really tall & cute!) drink of water...

one more for good measure.

and after i had wiped up the small puddle of drool from my mouth, i followed the rents back to court 7 for the final minutes of the match featuring up-and-coming american hopeful ryan sweeting and his spanish opponent (and yet another object of my affection, YUM) fernando verdasco. and though i felt slightly un-patriotic cheering for my latin lover, it didn’t stop me from rejoicing in delight when the match ended in verdasco’s victory (6-2, 6-2).

i kid you not, i think i my mom took about half of her 114 photos for the day during the last moments of this match. someone call sports illustrated, i do believe she has a future in sports photography (no but really, i’m not even being facetious). but to spare you all 40+ of those photos, i’ll simply present a close-up:

fernando exiting the court following his win.

hola mi esposo futuro. i mean, we already have so much in common, we are both left-handed, speak spanish and have an affinity for bright colors (this photo doesn’t do his shirt justice, it probably could have glowed in the dark). if that doesn’t make us soul mates, i don’t know what does.

apparently court 7 was the spot to be for the day as the match directly following the sweeting/verdasco pairing was an all-british duel featuring the doubles teams of andy murray and his younger (and taller) brother, jamie, and colin fleming and ross hutchins. at well past 3 p.m. this match began at too late of an hour to warrant our observation in its entirety, but we did manage to stay long enough to see the first set play out (no pun intended). and though it seemed that the murray brothers were destined for an L (based on jamie’s inability to get his first serve in alone), further investigation of yesterday’s results page on the bnp paribas open’s homepage has revealed that the brothers managed to turn it around in the second set (winning 6-2) and after what appears to be a thrilling third set-tie breaker (based on the score of 13-11), they were able to solidify their spot in the 2nd round by the match’s end. way to go brothers murray!

brothers murray. this also doubles as a corona ad.

in case you needed to know what their backsides look like (but really, who doesn't need to know that?).

not gonna lie, i'm quite proud of myself for capturing this moment. great form, andy.

as we wound around the facility grounds one last time, we were careful to snap a few family shots, too. if anything to prove that we were actually there and not just bumming photos off the tournament’s website. plus, i mean, we’re pretty cute, so that cuteness should always be documented.

this is what you get when you encourage your father to "throw up a gang sign" due to the fact that his backwards cap apparently makes him appear "gangsta." (it looks like the sign language sign for "i love you" turned sideways to me).

best friends forever and members of the "same mouth/chin" club.

we all agreed that sunday, march 11th, 2012 will go down in the history books as a near-utopian day. the weather was unprecedented (the best we’ve experienced from all of our tournament visits), the sunscreen did its job (no lobster skin!) and the competition certainly did not disappoint.

and it should go without saying that i had the best accompaniment in town.

alright 2013, you better start preparing now, because 2012’s installment of this family tradition is going to be hard to top!

deuce, love & ray-bans.

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