“Game, Set, Rock!” was a HUGE success this year at the Family Circle Cup. The match between John McEnroe and Jim Courier couldn’t have been any better. With John showing his deft touch and Jim showcasing that raw power, both champions obviously still “have it”! The match was tightly contested, ending with McEnroe prevailing in the third set tiebreaker. Following that, Anna Kournikova and Monica Seles joined the boys for some mixed doubles. At this point they all put on wireless mics and really had fun with it, making jokes and keeping the crowd entertained with their running commentary. It made for a late night, but I’m glad I got to stay and cover it from my premier seating on the court. J (More at www.chrisandcami.com/blog.)
Part of the big “Celebrating 10 Years in Charleston” promotion at the Family Circle Cup included special appearances by John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Anna Kournikova. Before they went on court for the “Game, Set, Rock!” event, these four celebrities stopped by a VIP dinner party to say a few words, sign autographs, and allow guests to get portraits with the champions!
Here are a few shots from that event along with a photo showing my setup for it. Since I was basically rushing from photographing a tennis match to shoot this, then rushing back to cover “Game, Set, Rock!”, my portable wireless lighting setup was the best solution. I used a pair of 8-foot Bogen Manfrotto stackable lightstands, two SB-800 strobes, each powered by an SD-8a battery pack, and firing through my favorite Westcott 43” collapsible umbrellas. I used my D3 with 24-70 f2.8 and SB-900 attached. The SB-900 acted in commander mode only, with the remote strobes set manually to 1/8th power. The whole system was triggered by RadioPoppers and gave me a working aperture of f5.6 at 1/100th. It took my about 10 minutes to set up and do a test shot, and about 6 or 7 to tear down and get out the door when it was over!
I’ve known the news for a couple weeks now, but the big announcement was just made official today:
“The Family Circle Cup announces Game, Set, Rock! Tennis. Amplified., an evening of music and tennis entertainment featuring John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Anna Kournikova and a fourth player, to be announced, participating in singles and mixed doubles action, as a new ticketed session beginning at 7:00pm on Saturday, April 17, 2010. This exhibition is designed as the keystone of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Premier Event’s week-long celebration of its 10th year in Charleston, and will supplement a strong player field highlighted by former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova and 18-year-old American standout Melanie Oudin. Marking the tournament’s 38th consecutive year, the Family Circle Cup is scheduled April 10-18, 2010 at the Family Circle Tennis Center in historic Charleston, South Carolina.”
Here’s a shot of Anna Kournikova I photographed in 2003…on FILM!!! I’ve been covering the Family Circle Cup waaaay too long. 🙂