Family Circle Cup Photo in Charleston Magazine


Most of you know I’m one of the Official Photographers of the Family Circle Cup.  Last year I had the honor of meeting a fabulous sports writer by the name of Bobby Chintapalli!  She was terrific to work with and a pleasure to be around.  She just emailed me a link to this article she wrote for Charleston Magazine because she realized the photo they used was one of mine.   Thanks Bobby!

The Banners are Up!

Driving across Daniel Island on my way to my tennis match in Mt. Pleasant today, I saw that the new Family Circle Cup Banners were finally up!  As the Official Photographer of this awesome tennis tournament, I always get a kick out of seeing my images draping the 4-story tall center stadium.  J  Besides last year’s Champion, Sabine Lisicki, there’s the 2008 Champion, Serena Williams, and the 2007 Champion, Jelena Jankovic.  Plus dozens of street banners are hanging from the lamp posts, depicting champions from all along the history of this long-running WTA Tour event.  This one is of Justine Henin, one of my favorite players…I’m thrilled to see her back out of retirement!

NEW Family Circle Cup Banner Announced

Only two more months until the Family Circle Cup!  As most of you know, I’ve been one of the Official Photographers of this amazing Professional Women’s Tennis event for many years now.  Each year, the best photo of the returning champion is selected for display on a 47-foot x 40-foot banner that hangs from the top of the stadium.  It’s been an honor to have had one of my images selected for the last few years in a row.  And this year…drum roll please…WE DID IT AGAIN!!!!  🙂   Mike Saia, the Communications Director at the FCC just emailed me a few minutes ago with the news and the final image they’ll be using.  I’m SO EXCITED!!!

On top of all the great women’s tennis action, this is also the Ten Year Anniversary of the FCC being located here in Charleston.  One of the longest running tournaments in WTA history, its former home was on Hilton Head Island.  To celebrate the milestone year, there will be guest apprearances from the likes of John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, and Anna Kournikova, plus many other special events and attractions.  So come on out…and make sure you say “Hi” to me while you’re there…04 Sabine Lisicki (Final)A

A New Champion is Crowned

It’s been a GREAT week covering the Family Circle Cup again this year! It’s always the most exhausting week in my calendar as I’m constantly pushing full-speed ahead, 9-days strait, often 9am through midnight, no breaks, in multiple locations all over the city.

As the Official Photographer, I’m not only required to cover the action…but also the fans, activities around campus, images for sponsors, behind the scenes appearances by players, and VIP events all week…resulting in somewhere around 20,000 images! It’s a HUGE task. But I enjoy the opportunity to test myself, stretch my versatility, and come up with creative images under pressure.

I have to say this year has been one of my favorites as I like to think I found a rising star. When I photographed a portrait of Sabine after her second round match, I felt like this could be her year to break through. After her defeat of Venus, I knew she had the game. And by the time she beat Marion, I realized she had the maturity to go all the way. Here’s my portrait of the NEW Family Circle Cup Champion. Take a good look at that smile…I believe you’ll be seeing a LOT more of it as Sabine continues her rise to the top!

For more photos, visit the galleries at the Family Circle Cup and the Sony Ericson WTA Tour website. I’m thrilled to say my images made the front page of the WTA Tour every day this week…a first for me!

Family Circle Cup Finals

Nadia Petrova & Bethanie Matteck-Sands came from 3 match points down to win the doubles!
Their third time playing together, Patty Schnyder & Liga Dekmeijere had a good time during their doubles final even though they came up short of the trophy.

19 Year Old Sabine Lisicki brought her A-Game to the finals.
Caroline Wozniacki fought hard but couldn’t find an answer, letting her coach know her frustration.

Sabine Lisicki is overcome with emotion and tears of joy well up as she realizes she’s won her first WTA Tour Championship. At #63 in the world, Sabine is the lowest-ranked Champion in Family Circle Cup history, overcoming huge odds defeating Venus Williams, Marion Bartoli, and Caroline Wozniacki to do so.
A fitting end to Sabine’s tournament run, in the arms of her Dad and coach, whom she thanked during the trophy presentation for all his love and support over the years, through the good times and the bad.

Family Circle Cup Day 6

Sabine Lisicki simply over powered the more experienced Marion Bartoli.
Marion Bartoli lost her quarterfinal to the young German who beat Venus earlier this week.

Caroline Wozniacki gets last-minute instructions in the tunnel from Tour Supervisor, Pam Whytcross, while Elena Dementieva stretches in the background.

Caroline Wozniacki’s tumble during her quarterfinal against Elena Dementieva didn’t slow her down a bit.

Elena Dementieva just couldn’t find a rythme against the 18-year old Caroline Wozniacki.

On The Bench

Between sets us photographers have to entertain ourselves. Here’s a fun one of me with Leslie Billman, shooting for Wire Image, and Alice Keeney, shooting for the Associated Press. Leslie is a pretty good player herself. She and I paired up to win the annual Family Circle Cup Media Tournament two years ago, a friendly competition between all the writers, photographers, TV crews, and other media personnel. Alice must have been having a bad hair day…trying to hide behind that hood and her cell phone. 😉

Family Circle Cup Day 5

Elena Dementieva is looking un-stoppable this year.
Virginie Razzano played well but couldn’t handle the power of Caroline Wozniacki.

Caroline Wozniacki in front of the scoreboard…I love how the background compliments her outfit.

Sabine how can you not root for someone with such an adorable smile?

For about ten minutes this AMAZING two-inch wide shaft of light from the setting sun streamed through a crevice in the stadium bleachers and gave Marion Bartolli this beautiful golden glow.

Family Circle Cup Day 4

Sabine Lisicki jumps for joy after one of the biggest wins of her young career.
Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish enjoys the action on Stadium Court.

Venus lunges for a volley but the effort wasn’t enough to defeat the 19 year old Sabine Lisicki.

Marion Bartoli watching the Sabine Lasicki upset Venus Williams.

Dominika Cibulkova hustles during her 3-set win over Anastasia Rodionova.

Family Circle Cup Day 3

See more of my images on the cover of the WTA Tour website and in their Photo Gallery.
Alona Bondarenko in a rare play for the net.
Anastasia Rodionova reflected in her coach’s sunglasses during a change over. On-court coaching was only recently introduced to the tour.

Patty Schnyder goes airborn during her powerful serves as she’s outlined by the long shadows of her late afternoon and tough three-set match.

Pure luck gets me a glimpse of Patty’s eye through the throat of her racket.

Elena Vesnina sprints for a drop-shot.

Fans relax on the Grand Lawn of the Family Circle Cup campus.