Daria Kasatkina and Naomi Osaka (-winner-photo Pat Krause

Story and Photos by Pat Krause.

The BNP Paribas Open had one of the most exciting finishes to date. The fans got their monies worth on Sunday. It was a hard-fought battle between Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro. It was one of those matches for the history books. The game lasted for a long time. Del Potro won the first match. The second was a back and forth battle that ended in a tiebreaker. It went first to del Potro and then back to Federer who finally won that tiebreaker. The fans went wild as most of the people in the filled stadium were Federer fans.

The third and final match was another exciting, on the edge of your seat, game. Fans would yell after Federer made a huge shot and then the whole stadium would be completely quiet. Can you imagine thousands of people not saying a word during play? Roger Federer had his chance to win several times but always came up short. Double faults were his downfall. The match again came to a tiebreaker. This time Federer was unable to make a comeback to win. Del Potro was on the top of his game and came out a winner. He said he was still shaking when he spoke to the crowd at the trophy ceremony. The winner gets 1.3 million dollars, the same as the winner in the women’s match, which cannot be said in any other sport.

The BNP Paribas Tennis Open is always full of surprises. This year is no exception as many of the top seeds in Women and Doubles are not playing in the finals. Two 20-year-old women who are not well known are vying for the top spot, The 2018 BNP Paribas trophy. Venus and Serena Williams fell along with other prominent names Simona Halep, Caroline Wosniak,nVenus Williams and more. Fan favorite Maria Sharapova lost early in the matches. Them two women are Daria Kasatkina and Naomi Osaka. The Winner was Naomi Osaka. The women fought hard and wanted the trophy so bad that each worked to make that happen with exciting back and forth volleys. Osaka was so excited she won that she had a hard time at the podium thanking everyone and giggling a lot. There were record crowds again this year.

Glady Knight sang God Bless America when the local servicemen came out on the court with a huge American Flag. It was a fabulous rendition of the song. Knight put a lot of emotion into the song. I noticed that everyone stood with their hand over their heart while she sang. This event came in between matches.

Tennis fans come from all over the world as this tournament is one of the largest in the U.S and considered the best by the players. There is a lot to see and do at the Tennis Gardens, aptly named for its ambiance. This tournament offers so much more than other sports in the Valley. It combines almost everything fans could ask for and more. Luxury restaurants, entertainment, outside videos for watching and some of the best courts. Stadium one and two are upgraded for comfort. The other stadiums offer great seating and close up viewing. Fans hover around the practice courts to watch their favorite players in action, close up. Fans will keep coming to this fabulous sporting event because it so fans friendly. The BIG NEWS at the end of the play was that the BNP Paribas would be the Premier Sponsor for another five years.