Photos and Stories by Pat Krause
INDIAN WELLS – Owner of the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens, Larry Ellison, made a rare appearance to be part of a ground breaking ceremony on Friday, Mar. 8. The new addition to the Tennis Gardens will consist of an additional 8,000 seat Court 2 with two restaurants. Ellison has great plans to make this a true garden to match its name. He said there will be a palm tree-lined entrance and more areas with shade for fans, as well as more upgrades to beautify the gardens.
Ellison was flanked by five of the top tennis players at the Tournament: Roger Federer; Rafael Nadal; Novak Djokovic; Ana Ivonovic; and Victoria Azarenka. Dignitaries included at the ground breaking were Mayor Mary Roche, Raymond Moore, Steve Simon and others. They all dug dirt and threw it into the air several times. There were two huge earth moving tractors in the back ground.
The tennis players each hit three balls over the net to celebrate the event. Federer and Azarenka spoke to the crowd about the new addition and its new restaurant that will include sushi. The players love to come to Indian Wells and are so happy to see this expansion. Federer has been coming here since 1999 and thinks this new addition is the right direction for the tennis facilities.