February 28th, 2014

Live at ATP/WTA Acapulco Part 2


TUESDAY, Feb. 25

I eagerly got to the site earlier than usual. I knew it would be a long day of shooting, luckily for me all the stars were playing…I had to be on my “A” game. Earlier in the morning I had jotted down all the matches that I HAD to shoot. Once at the press room I did my equipment check…lenses ready, batteries ready, memory cards ready, mental notes, etc.

But of course, nothing ever goes as intended, when you have a perfect shot (in your mind) something will throw it off, it always happens. The goal is to minimize that risk and experience teaches you that. Enough of that “photography talk” let’s get to the mumbo jumbo.

Aussie Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova started off the day on la cancha central. She beat Agga Radwanska’s sister Urszula. I love seeing Dominika play, she’s a dynamo and very intense on the court. I then witnessed the battle of the giants, John Isner versus Ivo Karlovic. I stayed through the end of the first set which “Dr. Ivo” took in a tiebreak, no surprise there, the match had two tiebreaks and the Croatian came out on top. Since I had my eye in the viewfinder I didn’t really watch the match but the sound of those serves were incredible, almost intimidating. I then went to watch another dynamo on court, the beast David Ferrer who easily dispatched Mikhael Kukushkin. I also got to shoot some of the Tim Smyczek-Gilles Simon match.

Americans had a strong presence in Acapulco and I was sure happy to see that. As I’m writing this, Victoria Duval and Christina McHale are through to the third round and Sam Querrey and Donald Young are still in it.

8 p.m. saw the start of Genie Bouchard’s match against Shahar Peer and Genie delivered a great performance. I stayed for the entire match and I’m so glad I did. At the end of the match, the tournament organizers brought out a birthday cake as she was turning 20. The press was invited to come on to the court to shoot that moment, we all hurried and fought for a good spot. What a cool experience.

I then knew that Dimitrov was playing Matosevic on the grandstand and once done with the Genie match I quickly hurried over there. I walked in as they were shaking hands at the net. Grigor won and he literally threw everything into the stands — towels, shirts, a little more and he was going to walk back to the locker room with only his shorts on.

I had to take a break, it was night time and I was still sweating, I had barely had time to eat a burger before. With the excitement of it all and with the adrenaline flowing I wasn’t even hungry. However, I had shot so many photos that I was starting to see blurry. But duty called for me, I had to shoot my last match, Murray vs. Andujar.

The latter almost beat Nadal the prior week in Rio. And boy was he hot, he was up 5-0 in the first set until Andy restored order and started to gain ground. Andujar won the first set. I left the match after the second set which the Scot won. I was done. I went back to the press room, gathered my stuff and looked for a taxi to get back to the hotel. It was around 11:30 p.m.

When I got to the hotel hunger kicked in. I asked the attendant for a place to eat and he suggested the Taqueria Los Tarascos in front of the hotel. I got to my room, threw my backpack on the bed, changed shirts and went to get me some authentic Mexican cuisine. It was my last night in Acapulco. I had to finish on a high note!

Tomorrow is a traveling day, I may still get more shots though, since my flight leaves in the evening. Yes, photographers never stop!