My favourite half in regards to the BNP Paribas Open is the worldwide nature of the event.
For instance, irrespective of who wins Sunday’s girls’s closing between Poland’s Iga Swiatek and Greece’s Maria Sakkari it should imply that the final seven champions right here could have come from seven completely different nations. Starting with Italy’s Flavia Panetta in 2014, adopted by Simona Halep of Romania, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, Elena Vesnina of Russia, Naomi Osaka of Japan, Bianca Andreescu of Canada and Paula Badosa of Spain.
It’s fascinating to hear from athletes from so many alternative nations within the course of a day. For starters, it is exceptional how effectively they converse English. Imagine having to do a press convention in a language that’s not your main one. That’s obtained to be as nerve-racking because the match in some circumstances.
Sometimes they’re speaking about forehands and passing pictures, however gamers are sometimes requested about present occasions each in popular culture or politics. Often they refuse to reply sensitive topics, however not all the time.
This yr, with gamers from the Ukraine and Russia within the subject, it added an additional layer to the event. Listening to the gamers share their emotions in regards to the Russian invasion was at occasions heart-breaking and at occasions uncomfortable, however it adds gravitas to the fortnight.
Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk stated being right here at this second in historical past is hard: “It’s such as you go to sleep and you do not know if you’ll get up having a household the subsequent morning.”
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These are highly effective moments that may solely occur at a world occasions. You will not get these at the Super Bowl or the NCAA Tournament or the World Series, and that is all the time the takeaway I’ve when this gloriously world event drops into our yard for 2 weeks yearly.