Desert Smash Kicks Off Indian Wells Tennis Events

Hollywood met Wimbledon yesterday and, best of all, it happened in the desert (in Indian Wells, California). The 9th annual K-Swiss Desert Smash was a celebrity-packed affair where pro tennis and Hollywood met on the sun-drenched tennis courts.

The list of participating pros included Novak Djokovic, Bob & Mike Bryan, Mardy Fish, Fernando Verdasco, Sam Querrey and Jack Sock. The celebrity players included Jeremy Piven and Red Foo. The crowd was overflowing with beautiful people, full of anticipation for the next two weeks of Indian Wells tennis tournament action. It was interesting to see Jeremy Piven (who has a history that includes a personal battle with sushi) playing with Novak Djokovic against Mardy Fish (whose partner was Red Foo) as the mercury rose.


The highlight of the court action had to be the stellar level of play demonstrated by Bob and Mike Bryan, the number one doubles team in the world. Sam Querrey and Fernando Verdasco put up a good fight, but were no match to the Olympic champion doubles team. And the crowd had to look no further than Jack Sock to find the perfect combination of Hollywood style and tennis skill. He and fellow American Querrey started the days events off with an entertaining match. It’s exciting to see a crowd so eager to support one of the USA’s fastest-rising tennis stars. Sock has worked hard to make it look as effortlessly as he does, and there’s nothing an audience loves more than the next big winner.

The real reason the players gave of their time and everyone showed up to cheer them on was clear when Keith, a youngster with special needs was presented with a custom-built bike, donated to him by the charity, that allowed him to enjoy cycling just like any other kid. And boy, did he ever… the crowd loved watching him celebrate his newfound mobility as he raced around the court time and time again on his bike. What a great kid, what a great event and what a great day it was for all.


Variety – The Children’s Charity is a multi-million dollar philanthropic organization that spans the globe, improving the lives of children through creative fundraising efforts, well-placed donations with exceptional children’s charities, and through its own charitable programs. With the help of volunteers and sponsors, Variety – The Children’s Charity continues its mission to provide lifesaving and life-enriching assistance to children in need on the local and international level. For more information, visit the Variety website by clicking here.

The event ended with a flourish on Tuesday evening at the Player’s Party, hosted by the hottest new restaurant in the desert, Figue Mediterranean, in La Quinta (47-474 Washington St.; 760-698-9040). The Player Party is an annual post-tournament soireé attended by the event’s roster of players as well as a guest list bursting with Hollywood celebrities and VIPs. The Player’s Party also benefitted Variety, while giving tennis lovers an opportunity to meet their favorite players during an evening combining delicious food and social interaction with the Hollywood elite. The party’s guests were among first to enjoy Figue’s spectacular Mediterranean cuisine and beautiful setting.

On hand was celebrity chef Chris “CJ” Jacobsen, Executive Chef of the new Girasol in Studio City, who recently made an impressive showing on Bravo-TV’s Top Chef Seattle series. The Party Rock Crew kept the party rockin’ with their infectious, good-time music. Party Rock Crew is a part of LMFAO. It consists of Q, Nate, Charlie, Furr (Shufflebot), and DJ Dainjazone. They are also a part of Redfoo’s DJ Sets.

(Photo above: Jack Sock makes several hundred new friends)

To visit the Desert Smash website, click here.


Greg Victor

Greg Victor (Parcbench Culture Editor) covers the worlds of tennis and country music for Parcbench. Based in New York City and frequently on the road.

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