With the BNP Paribas Open happening March 9-22—and the biggest tennis names there are, such as Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Williams, and Shaparova alighting in the Palm Springs Valley to compete for the top prizes—one would think Indian Wells is the only place to be. Not so. In my own hometown of Rancho Mirage, in honor of the popular championship, Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa and Cliff Drysdale Tennis are lobbing their “Tennis with the Stars” event toward all of us on March 10.
The affair will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for two dozen amateur players to go up against each other in a Round Robin Pro Am tournament, with winners earning the chance to play against and alongside the top professionals. The tennis stars taking part include Kei Nishikori, Petra Kvitova, Martina Hingis, and Jelena Jankovic.
Tennis is a big deal at Rancho Las Palmas, with operations being led by Jerome Millet, a vet of the French money circuit and a member of the Cliff Drysdale Tennis team. The resort’s award-winning tennis center offers some 25 courts for both private and semi-private lessons, clinics, and—of course—play.
In addition to the aforementioned Round Robin Pro Am with 24 teams, just some of the activities taking place from 2:30 to 7:00 pm at “Tennis with the Stars” include a “King of the Court” challenge match in which celeb pros face off against amateur Round Robin winners, exhibition matches with the top stars, and a VIP cocktail reception to cap the evening. Limited space at the event is open to resort guests as well as to the general public by reservation only. Pro exhibition tix are $50 per person, and VIP spectator tickets are $100 (for the matches as well as the VIP reception). The Pro Am & VIP Reception package is $250, and in addition to providing VIP reception entry and parking, includes the Round Robin, VIP seating, a gift, court time, and participation with Millet and other pros to qualify for two spots to play out points with the leading tennis pros The VIP All-Star Package is $2500, and grants one player entry in the Pro Am, 15 minutes of guaranteed playing time against and alongside the top pros, VIP courtside seating, gift bags, individual meet-and-greet photo ops, VIP reception, and parking.
If you need further info—or to book packages—please visit www.omnihotels.com/hotels/palm-springs-rancho-las-palmas/tennis/tennis-with-the-stars. Frankly, I can’t think of a better way to get in the mood for the amazing grand slams you’ll witness for sensational weeks at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Your serve!