Archive by Author | LJ

Federporn Friday (By LJ) – Post AO2014 blues…

For a few years now I’ve yearned for that photographer media pass. The one that will get me me closer, allow me to bring into a venue; longer and better lenses, perhaps a monopod and other extras… But I realised, especially this year, that a press pass has its own restrictions. When you shoot for publication, there’s no meandering, no breathing room, no time to focus on just a singular player, a singular moment. And I’ve realised over the years that as long as this old bloke is playing, it’s going to be hard for me to focus on any other player. However with limited equipment and access comes a sense and the need to be better, to shoot better, to keep improving over the years and to be original in visual quality. The benefit of added post-processing time also means an opportunity to finesse, to refine and to make a shot memorable.

As I reflect on my photography at Brisbane International and the Australian Open this year, I didn’t yearn as much for media legitimacy as I did in previous years because I understood the limitations of what I thought I wanted and instead decided to EMBRACE the restrictions of what I had and try to create the best work out of what I had available. As from the previous Federporn posts, I hope that you guys can recognise my efforts to be different to your usual Reuters, Getty or AP sports coverage. And I hope my passion for the tennis of Roger Federer and also the man comes across. I don’t often like to self-congratulate but I think at least for some of the shots this year, I really think I did myself proud.

Anyway, enough chat, enjoy the photos and I hope to take more in the future…

Roger Federer 1st round match Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer 1st round match Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer 1st round match Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer 1st round match Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer 1st round match Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer Australian Open 2014 Practice

Roger Federer Australian Open 2014 Practice

Roger Federer 2nd Round Match Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer 2nd Round Match Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer 2nd Round Match Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer 2nd Round Match Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer 1st round match Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer 1st round match Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer 1st round match Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer 1st round match Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer Day 3 Practice Session Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer Day 3 Practice Session Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer Day 3 Practice Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer with Stefan Edberg

Roger Federer Day 3 Practice Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer Day 3 Practice Session Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer Day 3 Practice Session Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer Day 3 Practice Session Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer Day 3 Practice Session Australian Open 2014

Roger Federer Australian Open 2014 Practice

From me…Au Revoir Roger… until 2015.

You can see all my tennis images and more here.

Previous Federpornery here

Federporn Friday (By LJ) – AO2014 Pre-Fedal Grit & Determination Edition

I know y’all are facing the Fedal jitters, the palm sweats, the neck hairs, the lingering unease in the pit of your stomach, the desperate need to attack the xanax, stillnox, valium, moscato or other drug/alcohol of your choice to cope with the stress that Fedal brings.

The thing is… I never used to stress this much about Fedal, but then Wimby2008, AO2009, FO2011,  AO2012 and the ENTIRETY of 2013 happened and now I want to vomit my guts out at every Fedal matchup.

But even though this inexplicable and unnecessary stress blankets everything, there is always a faint sliver of hope. And as we Fed fans struggle through it, suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, we somehow…somehow come out alive the otherside.

I braved the intense, insane Melbourne heat of Australina Open 2014, to bring you hopefully some of the best and most interesting Federer photos that you’ll see on this side of Getty Images. Waiting on court 17 in 43 degree heat for hours (thats like 109F to you imperial peeps) is something that I only do for one swiss potato nosed dude. Read More…

Federporn Friday (By LJ) – It’s been too long…

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Wow, looking back it’s been almost a FULL YEAR since the last Federporn Friday post. I guess there wasn’t much to celebrate with FPF in 2013, but when I get to take pictures of Mr Adorkable in person, you betchya I’ll try and wrangle some FPF time from dootsiez.

This year dootsiez and I braved the humid Brisbane heat and saw Wogie, up close and personal (and by up close I mean 2nd row from court biatches) in Pat Rafter Arena. With my new camera and lens in tow, I braved the bicep killing weight of my kit (dootsiez can testify how heavy it is) and made sure I brought you some of my best work so far.

I guess think of this as a pre-Australian Open celebratory FPF… a chance to celebrate… Read More…

Federporn Friday (by LJ) – Celebrating the draw from HELL (AO2013)

Roger Federer Day 2 Practice - Australian Open 2013

Well it has been a long time since we had one of these right? Well we’ve decided regardless of the result of tonights semi against Murray, we’re celebrating the fact that old man Fudd made it this far with the draw from hell.

So here are a few (okay a LOT) of my favourite pictures I took at AO2013. Again I’m pining for that photographer media pass one day…but until then I’ll have to be content with just hitting a lot of other people in the head with my giant canon 70-200mm F4L.

Read More…

London 2012: Musings on Olympic Tennis (by LJ)

THE EVENT

Before London 2012, and perhaps Beijing 2008, tennis at the Olympics was a blip on the radar. Although taking part as an original sport from 1896 to 1924, it didn’t make it’s modern comeback till Seoul in 1988. But compared to the slams, or even the masters, no one gave a flying rats ass what happened in the Olympics, until now (although seemingly Philipp Kohlschreiber still didn’t manage to get the memo)

Womens Singles Tennis at London 1908 games…

Read More…

Federporn Friday (By LJ): Pimms No 1 Cup Edition

HAVE WE RECOVERED? Well not really, I’m still celebrating a little bit every morning with a post wimby win happy dance. Seriously I’ve never celebrated my own achievements this much, what is with this man?

Anyhoo, Dootsiez has kindly given me permission for a bit of celebratory FPF today…so ENJOY!!!

It was going to be the entire tournament but after wading through 60 pages of Daylife and STILL not having made it past the final…I gave up…the following are of Final/Post Final only.

Last time Princess Rog graced the wimby finals it was in his Sargeant Pepper Number, thankfully this time it was a little more subdued.

Read More…

Roland Garros Day 2: Drama Kings.

The day started off with 2 unfortunate retirements… Feli  (Pulled muscle) and Dancevic (Lower back)…and with that the Roland Garros 2012 casualty list was off to a great start.

Princess finally made a decision on what colour socks to wear..Black it was…

Our wonder boy Wogie McFudd was second out on Suzanne Lenglen…up against German Tobias Kamke. I missed the first half of the match due to mandatory nommage of birthday cake bought for Dad, but the last half which I did see consisted of:

yes kitteh…it was kinda horribleh

Read More…

MSG exho aka Dear Rog, please don’t ever flat iron your hair…(by LJ)

So December 2007, I was chilling courtside at a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, a holy grail for a basketball fan. Sadly the Knicks played like crap, but hey I was never a Knicks fan so it didn’t really matter. But then…recently…Jeremy Lin happened…and suddenly MSG as picked up some extra aura.

MSG also played host to the latest Tennis Exhibition event. Shrieky took on the Woz whilst Rog and Randy took us back to 2003, with their nostalgic brohood.

I sadly had to be at work and couldn’t watch any of it. Supposedly, Shrieky showed us some of her dances moves and then Woz made her BF Rory play a point with Shrieky…

Then Randy imitated Rafa and actually WON the point, remarking “so that’s all it took”.

Oh Randy…forever the clown in the class. Currently ranked 31st in the world, I remember in a presser years ago that he said once he fell out of the top 10 he was going to stop playing…but it’s admirable that he’s still hanging on. I’m sure he’s still got a couple of years left…after all Juan Carlos is still kicking around.

Overall I gathered it was all nice and lovey dovey but…our dear dear Wog had to go and do this…

YES, he flat ironed his curls before heading into the stadium. Seriously…we’ve left the early 90s boyband look behind Rog…stick to the curls…

UGh, and the 90s boyband middle part too…lolz…

Dooby Dooby Dubai…a wrap (by LJ)

So on we went from Rotterdam, first title of the season for Rog in hand, I didn’t expect him to take Dubai, after all the last win was 2007, even if he has won it 4 times. But lo and behold, the court was slick, it was fast and gramps…had the stuff.

Yes it’s a 500 level torny but Dubai, with it’s abundance of oil money attracts a stellar field, in fact, out of the top 10 only Ferrer and Rafa were not present.

The biggest upset was Mandy taking out Djoker in straights. But granted Djokovic played like shite throughout the entire tournament. Limp net rushes, UFEs galore and he was lucky to not lose a set to Stakhovsky. Murray on the other hand had a great tournament, also demolishing Berdych in the quarters. It was great also seeing Del Potro build on his great run from Rotterdam, if he keeps it up he’ll definitely be a theat at the majors and make the year end WTF.

oh geeeeez, how do I keep this up for 10+ years like gramps? It’s way hard…

As for gramps?…he didn’t drop a single freaking set…in fact he didn’t face a single break point between playing Llodra and Mandy…that’s like FREAKING INSANE!!! Almost takes me back to AO2007 when he won the entire thing without dropping a set. *sigh*…good times. The forehand was zinging, the serve popping, shit was happening and the best thing was the court was fast enough to keep his concentration, he actually detoured around Mirkaland most tournament…it was AH-MAZING…

The final itself featured a tight the 1st set with a late break by Fed. The start of the 2nd set was a total dismantlement of Mandy’s game. On faster courts the insane defence of Mandy/Djoker/Rafa just doesn’t work as well and unlike Djoker/Rafa, Mandy doesn’t have a palpable weapon to hurt gramps. So it wasn’t until gramps was up a break and close to serving it out that Mandy came alive again after an ill advised dropshit point by Fed, but luckily he still managed to pull the win out of the bag.

Mandy…herp derping…

But yes…as Mandy said in the presser afterwards…if more majors were on fast courts, Fedpants would definitely have more majors in his pocket. It’s astonishing how enjoyable fast tennis is after the war of attrition slugfests that we’re used to these days.

And thus Wogie McFedpants as another crazy Dubai boat trophy to go into his trophy room…uber YAYNESS!!!!

Mandy: “How do I even begin to explain Wogie Mcfedpants?…he is flawless, he has 2 nike purses and a silver Mercedes…”

But now onwards to Indian Wells and Miami where the courts play so slow, it’s as if the red dust of Spainish davis cup wins have been hardened into a court…I don’t really care how Fed does really…Rotterdam/Dubai have been so much fun, I’d think we’d be a bit spoilt if big things happen in the 1st US swing, but hey…tennis is weird that way.

Davis Cup: Switzerland vs USA Wrap (by LJ)

Okay, so I’m a little less pissed and more coherent than I was on Sunday morning, but I’m still perplexed…like most of you… with the Tennistical Fuckery that was the Swiss Davis Cup campaign over the weeked.

So the last time we left the Swiss Davis cup team, they were doing this…

We were all celebrating the fact that Stan the Man finally grew some Davis Cup cajones and we were all looking forward to a possible run by the Swiss at the big prize this year. On paper it looked like a given, the US on slow clay AT home, in Swissyland…perfect right? Uh…not so much.

Of course most of us dismissed the actual stats. Mardy Fish ranked 8, John Isner, 17. Mike Bryan, one half of the world’s number 1 doubles team. But don’t worry…the yanks are shit on slow clay…so we thought. Nevermind that John Isner was the first person ever to take Rafa to 5 sets at Roland Garros…oh no…but that was a total fluke right?

yah…these guys thought so too…

Yeah it was totally cute. The Swiss boys bonding, having shitlloads of fun…

And you know what? maybe a little too much fun. When Fed came out in the pre-tie presser saying win or lose he’s happy just to be with the boys something went uh-oh in my head. It almost seemed like the Swiss were a little laissez faire going into the weekend.

So in the making of the perfect example of why Davis Cup is about team depth and Captaincy, the US team came in well  prepared, and hungry…hungry to WIN. Although his suit wasn’t to the levels of Swiss snappiness, Captain Jim Courier was all levels of business. He had ONE job to do this weekend…and it was to win.

In the first rubber, Wawrinka and Fish dueled in a 5 set fest of sloppy tennis and chokeage. Up 2 sets to 1, Wawrinka collapsed in the 4th, giving Fish all the momentum in the 5th. Wawrinka played mostly reactive tennis, reacting to Fish’s kick serve and reacting to the pummeling of his backhand. When he broke back late in the 5th, he did so with 3 crosscourt FH winners…a shot that he basically shied away from the entire match…and thus we had this…

Fish gutted out the win. And so I thought, SHIT, this is going to be ONE Looooong weekend. So then Fed was up next…against this beast…

Yeah, if i came across this dude in a dark alley, you better be believin’ I’d be running for my life. After winning a tight but manageable 1st set where Isner was broken early, Fed get’s broken in the 2nd set after Isner hits 3 screaming winners off Fed’s wide serves. And soon the issues with the court were getting obvious.

At 2000m above sea level, the court in Fribourg was making the ball bounce high but the clay itself wasn’t slow enough. It gave ample trouble to both the 1-handed backhands of Wawrinka and Federer, but it gave just enough time for the likes of Isner to pound his groundstrokes.

I decided to sleep after the 2nd set (at this point I’d been up for 21 hours) and woke up to a 4 set loss. A result I entirely expected. It had the hallmarks of the Soderling match at FO2010, Federer was given no riddum to work with and Isner was teeing off on his serves and groundstrokes.

Also Fed was pissed at the bad bounces on the court. I thought the court at Royal Sydney was bad but obviously the guys at Fribourg took a page out of the same book. And when Fed is frustrated…the results usually aren’t good. Frankly I should start betting on tennis since I’m doing quite a good job of predicting final results after the 2nd set.

So fuck…yeah, the Swiss go into the doubles 0-2 down. Now after watching Federinka at Royal Sydney last year, I was not impressed. People harp on about how they won the Oympics yadda yadda yadda…Folks…that was FOUR FUCKING YEARS AGO….and it was best of 3 (bar the final)

Again like at Royal Sydney, Federinka comes out guns blasting and win the 1st set. But soon in the 2nd, the wheels start falling off. The silly errors start and they stop communicating. Against a Bryan and a prettty good dubs player himself, Fish, you just can’t afford to be that shite.

I’m not going to go as far to say the Olympics gold was a little flukey, but as a pair, these guys are just not best of 5 quality. And possibly because they’re usually gassed after their singles rubbers on day 1. But at times both had some mind blowingly FACEPALM-worthy errors in the match.

So anyway, USA go on to sweep the tie 5-0 (Lammer and Chiudi fought bravely but alas)…here’s some manlove…

Kudos to Courier for coming in with the perfect gameplan (To not let Roger Federer play tennis supposedly) and kudos to his team, especially Isner for executing the plan perfectly. I don’t like playing blame games but a few big things let the Swiss down in this tie:

  1. The court and location shot the Swiss in the foot
  2. Lack of focus, authority and gameplan exerted by Severin Luthi
  3. Lack of focus and cajones from Wawrinka.
  4. Lack of fight and refocus from a one Roger Federer, after tight 3rd set losses, happened in Australia and happens here again against Isner.

I never thought this tie would have been a easy gimme for the Swiss like some media outlets said. But had Wawrinka won the first rubber, Isner would not have had as much freedom to swing as freely as he did. And we could have woken up today to a 3-2 win by the Swiss. But this is how close tennis gets…a few games here and there late in the 5th set decides everything.

So yeah, I was pissed…and angry…albeit mostly for selfish reasons really. I stayed up almost 21 hours to see both 1st day singles rubbers, I paid 10 bucks for the ITF stream for the weekend and FUCK…I expected more from the Swiss team…

…but hey, we all have our bad days right?

So Dear Suissies, let’s kiss and make up…

…but promise to try harder next time alright?

<3 LJ

P.S. How ahmazing are Swiss Tennis crowds? I will forever cherish the sound of a GIANT cowbell…

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