The evolution of tennis since the birth of the Open era in 1968, was said, had changed the game - from tennis balls to court surfaces, rackets, prize money and clothing. 'Ticketmaster Insider' noted, "Today (in 2016) tennis is one of the most international sports in the world with top players from across the globe, and on-the-court fashion reflects that diversity with a huge range of styles influenced by everything from comfort and technology to personal taste and fashion statement-making." 

Back in 1978, Neil Amdur reported, "Before professionalism brought money, identity and agents into women's tennis, the road to the top was filled with more toll roads than freeways, accessible primarily to the wealthy and privileged. Now (in 1978), a carefully defined qualifying structure and computer rankings determine not whether you can play but whether you can win enough matches to move from qualifying to satellite events and then into the main draws at Paris, Wimbledon or Flushing Meadow." 

'The New York Times' observed, "Perhaps nowhere is tennis's evolution more visible than at the All England Club, which hosted Wimbledon and the Olympics (in 2012). The clues were found on the manicured lawns of Centre Court, where by the end of each tournament, scorching rallies had browned the grass at the baselines, a far cry from the hourglass pattern of wear and tear seen during the serve-and-volley heyday." 

Bob Thurman of Wilson Racket Sports revealed, "The reason is spin, spin, spin. Whacking the ball at the baseline is a winning strategy because of the topspin players hit with. It’s become our job here to build a racket to cater to that. For every 100 r.p.m.'s of topspin you can put on the ball, you can reduce the flight distance by 6 to 12 inches." Jon Muir added, "There is an arms race. If we don't continue to innovate, we are going to fall behind." John Lyons expressed, "The innovations always take effect with the next generation." 

Record-breaking crowds, some 333,000, bought tickets to see top tennis players at the BNP Paribas Open in March 2011. The Indian Wells, California event was first held in 1976. The women's singles did not play until 1989 and from 1992 to 1999 was also known as the Evert Cup. Raymond Moore spoke to ASAP Sports, "We hope to have more parking for next year (2012), and then we will be able to increase attendance. We have a shuttle service that costs us a lot of money. We do shuttles from all over the Valley. 

"Everything is aligned for us (in 2011). The gods aligned; the weather has been good. Great matchups, top players winning. I think the Hawk-Eye and the other improvements we made over 2010 were really embraced by everybody, the players particularly, the spectators with more seating, more comfort, more things for them to do. Corona bar was a big success. Video screen. We're getting there. We're not stating that we are there, but getting there. It's still a journey. So we will immediately after the tournament go to the drawing board and see what improvements we can make for next year." 

Charlie Pasarell pointed out, "I don't know if you guys have had an opportunity to stroll around the grounds, but if you look around, people are laying on the grass, sitting on the Corona bar, sitting on those lounge chairs, watching the big screens. To that effect, actually, you know, one of the improvements - I don't know if you guys have had an opportunity to really look into it - but is people are going to be here for 8 to 10 hours a day, and they're only going to watch so much tennis. 

"We have to provide entertainment throughout the rest of the day. We have developed an internal network of entertainment. I don't know if you guys have been inside - it's actually right behind the stage - and seen our studio where we provide the entertainment. No other tennis event in the world - and maybe no other sporting event in the world - is doing what we're doing there in terms of providing on-site entertainment and production, you know, that we're doing. 

"We're doing for all the video walls, everything that's happening here, we actually write a script every day. We have directors. We can show something on the video walls on Court 7, and something different on the video wall on Court 3. Everything from player intros and commercials. Nobody is doing that. If you guys have an opportunity, you should actually walk in there to that studio. We'd love to show you, because it's really an amazing thing. People are not seeing that, but that's what we are doing.

"81% of the attending public that comes here (to Indian Wells) comes from 100 miles and over, and almost close to 5% come from outside the United States. We've got boxholder, series ticket holders from every state of the union. It is truly a destination tournament, and that's what makes it special. People are here on their vacation to watch tennis. It's not a tournament like, you know, I think I'll leave the office at 3:00 today and I'll go watch some tennis. They're here to watch tennis. They're here for 8 to 10 hours a day. We recognize that and that's what we've adopted, so we're privileged to have that. I mean, it is a great asset for us." 

Raymond Moore maintained, "I think all the tournaments have improved. It's like everything, and they've had to. I haven't been to the Canadian Open, but I understand that they do a phenomenal job up there. I think that all the tournaments - it's like Charlie said earlier, we've raised the bar with some of the things we've done here. I think in two or three years, a lot of other tournaments - we won't be the only one who has Hawk-Eye on every court. And that keeps happening. I think just the organization's become more professional; it's gotten better. I think there are a host of tournaments around the world…

"But also just to add to that, we do have the night sessions, and actually, we created the night sessions a long time ago because of the demand from the local population, because they're working. We can't get to the tennis. We'd like to get to the tennis. That's when we started to introduce night sessions. So we do want the locals to attend the tournament, and they do. In droves. We even have an Indian Wells Day on the first Thursday of the two weeks. So we cater for all of it. We sell packages now. We sell night packages only, weekend packages only, day packages only, or a series if you want to come to all 21 sessions."

On reflection, Charlie Pasarell remarked, "We learn from each other. One tournament that I think - you know, I mean, if you go back 25, 30 years that has now become a phenomenal tournament is the Australian Open. I mean, that tournament really was almost going to disappear at one time. I mean, maybe it was longer than that. And the improvements they have made and obviously facilities has a lot to do with it, but it's a great happening. You know, Roland Garros is still phenomenal. I mean, that also has increased. I mean, there were times, and it wasn't that far along. I mean, even the days of Pete Sampras, okay, which is not that far back, he missed the Australian Open. He didn't think it was that such a big deal."

Raymond Moore concurred, "Hardly anyone played - I mean, top players, they missed the Australian Open throughout the '80s. I think Borg played it once. McEnroe maybe, I don't know, maybe once or twice. Not too many times." Charlie Pasarell continued, "So I remember, you know, Pete Sampras, playing golf with him during the Australian Open here in Indian Wells. Pete, why aren't you... Nah, I didn't feel like going there this year. So that's not the case anymore. I think we've sort of, you know, our tournament here has really - Miami has also done a terrific job. We've sort of tried to catch up with Miami, and now Raymond and I both believe that we've surpassed Miami. Hopefully Miami will try to surpass us. That's what's great about it."

A retired data processor and aspiring commercial actor, Jim Flood, 51 in 1993, had been a tennis umpire and linesman since 1986, "It does take a unique individual to be an umpire. You have to have a degree of patience and self-control. They (players) will try to intimidate you." 'The Los Angeles Times' reported in 1993, "Tournaments such as the US Open pay $120 a day and $65 a day for housing and food. Air fare is also included. Flood said he will earn $70 for officiating 4 to 5 matches a day at the ($375,000 Virginia Slims of Los Angeles at Manhattan Beach in 1993 featuring 56 players). He says women's matches are easier to officiate than men's."

Jim Flood explained, "Women are a joy to do because they're more courteous. There are very few women that are not fun to be on the court with. . . . There's also a difference between umpiring men and women. Men hit the ball so much harder that lines people have to be that much better. The match is so much more intense because of the pace of the ball."

An umpire since 1970, Tom Davidson, also an attorney, 46 in 1993, told 'The Los Angeles Times', "Women tend to be better sportsmen. They have more sports etiquette and tend to be less profane. Many men have been defaulted from tournaments for their conduct, but it is a very interesting fact that in the history of women's tennis there has never been one player defaulted because of conduct."

Unless it was an an exhibition match, players could be heavily fined for criticizing an official at events sanctioned by the Association of Tennis Professionals. Jim Flood elaborated, "...I've done all the matches of all the bad boys and bad girls. If you're an umpire long enough, eventually you'll have problems with all of them. Pete (Sampras) is very low-key and never real emotional. You never worry about him blowing up at you. Mike Chang is like that too and so is Monica Seles."

'The Los Angeles Times' reported, "Jim Flood started officiating on a volunteer basis in 1968 when he was a player at Merritt College in Oakland. His father was an umpire and had worked Wimbledon and the US Open. But Flood got married and became a full-time data processor. There was little time for playing and he quit the sport altogether. After divorcing his first wife about 10 years ago (around 1983), Flood got back into officiating and playing.

"Flood is serving a two-year term as president of the Southern California Tennis Umpires Association (in 1993). Officiating is his prime source of income, but he also earns money doing voice-overs for corporate videos. Flood said his job is easy compared to officials in other sports." Jim Flood stated, "Tennis is much milder. In baseball they yell a lot more. There's a very strict code of conduct for tennis unlike other sports and penalties are swift and severe."

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