U.K. Journo Surveys Larry Ellison’s Tennis Tournament

It’s always fun to read how Los Angeles and environs are portrayed by foreign journalists. Today, Alexandra Willis blogs at The Independent about the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, running through March 20th.

Here for example is her description of the westward commute on the 10: “A two-ish hour ride along a terrifying Los Angeles freeway, through a lot of sandy mountains (some snow-capped), a wind farm, and many, many cactuses…”

Terrifying. Really? Willis refers to Palm Springs as “California’s answer to Brighton” and then runs down the ways Oracle founder Larry Ellison has helped transform this annual event into an ATP player and fan favorite:

Ellison has reportedly poured upwards of $8 million into landscaping and refurbishing since he took over the desert’s tennis garden, but the biggest addition this year is the installation of hawk-eye on every court, the first tennis tournament in the world to do so. And at around $60,000 dollars a court, you can understand why.

Willis also coins the strangest sports phrase we’ve heard in a while. She writes that this past weekend, crowds of spectators “were as condensed as Vegemite.” Yuck.

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.