Western & Southern Tennis

I grew up a tennis kid. My dad was a teaching pro and a coach, I was a junior player. I played in school, the summer junior circuit, and went on to play in college. After college I had pretty much had enough and retired from my competing days and went on to pursue other sports, but I never lost my love for watching tennis, even if I no longer wanted to train and compete.

Western and Southern Open

For more years than I can remember, and for longer than I’ve lived in Cincinnati, I’ve been attending the big pro tournament in Cincinnati in August. My dad used to do some line judging and umpiring at the tournament way back when.  It’s changed names over the years, most recently the Western & Southern Open.

All of the top players come, both men and women, and the tournament just keeps getting better and better every year. It was pretty cool this year coming on the heels of the Olympics.  Gold medalists Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Andy Murray, and the Bryan brothers were there.  Roger Federer (silver), and Juan Martin’ Del Potro (bronze) were there on the men’s side. Maria Sharapova and Rafa Nadal were out due to injury/illness, but it was a really loaded field. Even some pro golfers were in attendance, like Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy, who had just won the PGA Golf tourment the day before was in the house with his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, who plays on the WTA tour.

This year I went out with my girlfriend C and watched some of the early rounds, and we went back with our kids on Saturday afternoon for the mens’ semifinals. Her son has been a ballboy there for a large chunk of the week. Shannon had never been to the tournament before, so that was a first for her. We all had such a great time. I had the opportunity to get up close to a lot of the best players (more Olympians – yipee!). Thanks to Twitter, I got to catch up with one of my dearest friends from way back when – Stephanie and her friend Bill.  We had such a great time – it was like no time had gone by!  Shannon was able to get Novak Djokovic’s autograph on Saturday outside of the ESPN booth. A really good time was had by all. The weather was perfect (cool and partly cloudy), so that was a bonus.

I love shooting sports, and I was really happy with the shots I got of my favorite players. I hope you like them too!

Serena Williams

Serena – and her iPhone!

Agnieszka Radwańska (seeded #2) and Juan Martin’ DelPotro (Olympic Bronze Medalist)

James Blake (at the net) with Sergio Garcia, and Andy Murray

GW doing his ball-boy thing.

I have a lot of really great pics of Roger Federer.  I love him, he’s such a great player with tons class on top of it all. He’s great with the fans. He’s what all professional athletes should be.  He, Novak Djokovic, and Rafa Nadal are my favorite players. When Roger beat Novak in the finals, it was hard for me to see either of them lose. I just didn’t want it to be over. The photo on the right, below, is one of my favorite pics that I have taken – possibly EVER!

Roger Federer

Brad Gilbert with ESPN

Chris Fowler and Brad Gilbert with ESPN. Notice how they wear shorts and sneakers. The camera never sees that!

Novak (Nole) Djokovic – I just love watching him go airborne when he hits his forehand.

Nole – after his match.

Roger after his match.

Nole signing autographs after his match – Shannon got one!

I’ll wrap it up now, I promise.  I only have about 300 more.  I hope you all have a great day!

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