VCO Media Day

It’s been 20 years since the Volvo Car Open chose Charleston as its new home!!! It’s hard to believe I’ve been the tournament’s official photographer for about 3/4 of that time. What an honor it was to see many of my photos of past champions on display!

To celebrate this milestone, the VCO hosted a Media Day at the beautiful Dewberry Hotel rooftop. Last year’s champion, Madison Keys, was a special guest…as were Mayor Tecklenburg, Tournament Director Bob Moran, Tournament Manager Eleanor Adams, Stephanie Mangini of Volvo Car USA, Helen Hill from the Charleston Visitors Bureau, and Richard Todd who is “The Voice” of the tournament. The event was hosted by America’s sweetheart, former #1 tennis player, Tracy Austin.

After the press conference, tennis demonstration, and networking luncheon, Madison and Tracy got a private tour of the new Meeting Street Academy, where Maddy shared about her new Kindness Wins initiative.

“Madison Keys has a passion for kindness. The 25-year-old American tennis star has made that passion into a mission, launching her new Kindness Wins initiative, a chance for Keys to embrace positivity and provide a platform to spread encouragement both within and outside the world of sports.”

It was a real pleasure being selected to photograph the VCO Media Day! Happy 20th Anniversary to the Volvo Car Open!!!

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Volvo Car Open Banner

ONLY 20 DAYS TO GO!!!

The 2018 Volvo Car Open is coming up fast! I’m so excited that one of my images of Daria Kasatkina, last year’s Champion, made the stadium banner! Now when you’re commuting home on I-526 and look over at the stadium, you can think of me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The grounds crew is in full swing to get this year’s tournament up and operational. Tons of my images from years past are already hanging up around the tennis center. And some of the main tents are already in place!

I hope to see you all there March 31st – April 8th, cheering on your favorite player. Get your tickets now at www.volvocaropen.com.

Volvo Car Open 2017 – Day 3

Day 3 of the Volvo Car Open started with me hanging out with Jennifer Brady at Charleston Day School. The kids LOVED her!

Then it was on to the MUSC Children’s Hospital where Darija Jurak and Misaki Doi took time out of their busy practice schedules to go and play with some kids that really needed some cheering up!

I then zipped over to the Daniel Island Club to photograph the All Access Media Hour, where 8 of the top seeds gather to be interviewed by various media outlets. Madison Keys, Johanna Konta Venus Williams, Samantha Stosur, Elena Vesnina, KiKi Bertens, and Daria Gavrilova were among the stars I got to photograph. Even last year’s Champion, Sloan Stephens, made in appearance, in spite of not being able to play this year due to injury.

Finally, I headed to the Family Circle Tennis Center to photograph several matches, including former Champions Andrea Petkovic and Jelena Jankovic, plus local home-town hero Shelby Rogers, before the rain drove us all indoors.

It’s all in a day’s work when you’re the official photographer at this world-class professional women’s tennis tournament!!!

Volvo Car Open 2017 – Iconic Photo Shoot

Day two of the Volvo Car Open had me photographing what’s known as the Iconic Photo Shoot. This is where we photograph two of the top players at an iconic Charleston location. Previous locations have included the beach on Isle of Palms, and the flight deck of The USS Yorktown!

This year the selected location was The Cistern on the College of Charleston campus. The team from WTA even set up a net across The Cistern so the players could play a few points during the photo shoot. Before the players arrived, the C of C tennis team arrived for a couple cool photos!

Eventually, Elena Vesnina and Daria Gavrilova arrived for the shoot. We all had a BLAST and came away with some really cool images with which to promote this year’s Volvo Car Open!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Volvo Car Open – Champions Photo

With Sloaneโ€™s big breakthrough this week at the Volvo Car Open, a NEW Champion is crowned!!!

After winning one match in five previous Charleston tries, Sloane Stephens, the 23-year-old American, found her fire this year. She made her first-ever final here, saving a match in the quarterfinals and playing standout tennis before Angelique Kerber was forced to retire. In the championship bout, she stopped a red-hot Elena Vesnina, earning her fourth WTA singles title, third in 2016 and first-ever on clay.

To top it all off, besides winning the trophy, plus a $128,100 check, she gets a NEW CAR!!! With Volvo Car USA as the new title sponsor, it had one more surprise up its sleeve by presenting Stephens with a brand-new limited edition Volvo. “Oh my goodness!” a shocked Sloane said on court. “You guys, I Just won a car.”

As the official photographers, after our champion had a chance to freshen up and catch her breath, Alice, Arielle, and I whisked her away for a private photo shoot with her new hardware. We had fun using our cameras as “stand-in” trophies to test the light. It was a chilly, overcast afternoon. But Sloan was a real trooper. And her hardware was waaay prettier than ours. We all had a BLAST!

CONGRATULATIONS to our new champion, Sloan Stephens!!!

Volvo Car Open – Day 7

Well, it was an eventful week! After eight 12-hour days in a row, of constant hustling, shooting, editing, and transmitting images for the tournament, we finally have a NEW Volvo Car Open Champion!!!

Congratulations to the French duo of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic for taking home the doubles trophy.

And congratulations to American Sloan Stephens for weathering several years of early-round losses before finally going the distance and taking home the 2016 crown…AND a brand new limited-edition Volvo Car!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Volvo Car Open – Powershares Tennis

During the Volvo Car Open, there was a brief pause in women’s tennis as 4 super stars of men’s tennis descended on Charleston for an evening of entertaining action!

Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, James Blake, and Mardy Fish played the second round of the 2016 PowerShares Series on center court in front of a packed house! It was great to meet and photograph some of my idols from back in my collegiate tennis days. Andy Roddick defeated Andre Agassi in the final match to take this round.

Here are a few images…

Volvo Car Open – VIP Welcome Reception at The Cedar Room

As the Official Photographer of the Volvo Car Open, my job isn’t just to cover on-court action! Here are a few scenes from this year’s amazing VIP Welcome Reception.

This was the first year it was held at the Cedar Room. I must say, this venue at the beautifully restored old Cigar Factory is absolutely incredible! Many thanks to Graham, Lauren, and all the talented folks that made this year’s event such a huge success!

Of course the usual VIP’s from Meredith came out in full force. This year also saw all the incredible folks from Volvo, as well as other great sponsors like Lisette, in attendance. Tennis celebrities like Pam Shriver, Cliff Drysdale, Rennae Stubbs, and Lisa Raymond were there. Even the one and only Martha Stewart made an appearance!

There are many behind-the-scenes parties and events that I have the pleasure of photographing…but the VIP Welcome Reception is always one of my favorites!