Today turned out to be an extra long day in extreme heat, so I’m afraid there is only time for a brief highlights post. I decided to select a handful of my fave pics from the day, that also gives you a sampling of the awesome array of tennis available at a tournament like the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA–or #Merica, as Ryan Harrison likes to tweet.
Above we have Grigor Dimitrov, who, like his boyhood idol Roger Federer, has a lovely arching serve. That serve was on fire against opponent Nico Almagro, in a fantastic match full of speedy rallies and glorious one-handed backhand winners.
Sloane Stephens is once again the picture of beauty in her bright pinky-coral tennis oufit as she flies through the air for a difficult shot in her gritty three-set win over a feisty Petra Martic.
At a little over 5’9, it’s rare that I feel short. Standing near Milos Raonic as he got a practice in this evening, however, I felt Iike I was standing in a ditch. The man is nothing but a towering collection of long, muscled limbs, and he’s matured from lankiness into an impressively strong and sturdy presence.
I love this picture of Monica Puig because I can’t really explain it. Her body is almost perfectly still during the shot, captured beautifully by the camera, but then her arms and racquet and the ball are a complete–and somewhat confusing–blur. It’s the perfect tennis blend of elegant stance and aggressive action.
Your clickable image of the day comes courtesy of Stan Wawrinka, who didn’t feel he was having the best of days on the court with BFF and doubles partner Benoit Paire. As someone who was not having the best morning either, I could empathize. Plus, Stan’s expressiveness is always so freakin’ adorable.
Speaking of adorable, here is one of the most bromancey pairings in doubles, Wawaire. Since my four days of various types of technical difficulties led to a camera breakdown during the match, J.D. had to leave the Fish match and gallop to the rescue. Or at least walk-really-briskly to the rescue. Somehow he ended up on the opposite end of the court as me, but while we were playing our own ridiculous version of “Where’s Waldo?” he managed to snap this pic of Stan and Benoit for Tennis Inside Out.
Speaking of doubles, we witnessed an incredibly EPIC super tiebreak as Mardy Fish and Jurgen Melzer competed against Gilles Simon and Jarkko Nieminen. The packed house of fans on Court 9 were ooohing, aahing, applauding, fist-pumping, and screaming by the end of this incredible match-up. Which led to one of my favorite traditions of tennis, the at-the-net handshake.
Though Fish and Melzer won, all four guys really enjoyed this match, and there was a lot of mutual appreciation in those handshakes.
PHOTOS: c2013 Valerie David for TennisInsideOut.com